It’s hard to pinpoint an exact genre on No Miracles Here. Spanning theatre, music and storytelling, it carves out a new innovative, devised genre far away from the realms of musical theatre. With the stage set up in a concert-like setting, the production revolves using live music in collaboration with theatre to create a story. In the way that musical theatre is dialogue interspersed with showtunes, this is a concert interspersed with dialogue. The plot follows the band’s frontman, Ray, through a dance marathon to combat his feelings of isolation and depression, where the key rule is simple: don’t let your knees hit the ground.
The style developed through No Miracles Here is honestly an article in itself. It blends theatre and music, blurring and stretching the line between the two, creating seamless natural progressions between the two forms. The almost-constant soundtrack proves an engaging and interesting backing to a show, giving an unending rhythm and pace to the action. It is impossible to determine where the theatre ends and the music begins, whether we are in one form or the other and, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. No Miracles Here doesn’t feel like a mash-up of two genres, it feels like a cohesive, consistently stylised story and the bottom line is, it works. An inventive, successful style gives the show a genuinely refreshing feel. It’s always a joy to see something new, in this case, a genre which had never even occurred to me as even being possible.
“it is impossible to determine where the theatre ends and the music begins”
The composition, choreography and vocals involved are all strong. Harmonies are crisp, dancing is energetic and the music is catchy and interesting. However, there are occasional stumbles. The acting occasionally falters and the writing sometimes feels stilted, but the music brings everything back on track and keeps it moving through the production. Dealing with themes of isolation and depression may initially seem a daunting and heavy subject, and there are intense and emotional moments, but they never become gratuitous. No Miracles Here does a brilliant job of keeping an upbeat pace, exuding energy and becoming intoxicatingly fun.
Overall, No Miracles Here is a supremely enjoyable production. Well-crafted music underpins an exciting and emotional story within a refreshing and inventive genre. Incredibly original and undeniably fun, No Miracles Here is certainly worth a watch.
Northern Stage @ Summerhall, 5th – 26th August (not Wednesdays) 11:00
Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/no-miracles-here
Image: The Letter Room