This raw piece of theatre brings into sharp focus the dangers in cuts of funding and support for those who need it the most.
First of all there is no doubting the rawness of both the story and the language used by writer and performer Florence Espeut-Nickless is difficult viewing at times but it is certainly worth watching.
Through the monologue, we follow the story of Destiny, a teenager who is having to navigate life and the abuse of power that many people in her life seem to deal out to her. Initially, she is a typical teenager going out a living life to the full until a horrific act of violence occurs when she and Tyrone (the hottest man in town apparently) leave the club where they met and are attacked by two boys named as Angry and Pitbull . Following on from this , we see how she copes (or doesn’t cope) with the emerging situation, while trying to look towards the future. While a lot of what occurs might seem bleak, there are humorous moments to be found and it finishes with an element of hope for the character and on a wider scale for those like her.
As a writer, Florence Espeut-Nickless manages to hone in on the troubles facing society: the cuts to funding and support for those who need it the most being at the forefront of the story. The language might be blunt, but it is consistently powerful to watch as the story twists and turns in all directions, making the audience beg for Destiny to find a way out of the situation. But while the character Destiny is flawed and makes mistakes (lying about her statement in the aftermath of the assault, getting together with someone her friend Gem fancies), the monologue is so deftly written that it is impossible to judge her harshly for her actions.
Through this piece, Espet-Nickless also manages to bring to life Destiny’s hopes for the future – including becoming a street dancer, having been booked on a performing arts course by her advisor Rick to help offer her a life of possibilities. Yet, balanced with this is how the people that Destiny trusts abuse their power or lack the motivation to help her – including her own mother, which adds a heartbreaking feel to the piece and makes you admire her courage no matter what life throws at her.
It is all brought to startling life with smart direction from Rachel Lambert and Elle While, who manage to capture the rollercoaster of emotions going through Destiny’s experience with ease and style, helped along by Katie Sykes’s simple but effective production design which pushes the story forward and makes the numerous locations that the story takes place in look effortless. The way in which the camera is used and the shots selected to capture the changing vibe of the story, while highlighting the gradual build up of tension and emotion beautifully.
Performance wise, Florence Espeut-Nickless is captivating to watch as she fully captures the depth and complexity of the character she has beautifully created. She knows exactly how to use a pause effectively as well as know which lines that deserve the most emphasis to make a devastating impact on the audience. It is a thoroughly engaging performance from start to finish.
Impressive to watch from start to finish, Destiny is a powerful piece of writing that I can’t help but wonder what would be like watching it being performed live. Hopefully it will come to the stage very soon.
By Emma Clarendon
Destiny is available to watch for free until the 5th October 2023. To find out more visit: https://pentabus.co.uk/index.php/destiny Ad: Pr invite to review.