• Amy Toledano

Nearly Human presented by Perhaps Contraption

What is it? Nearly Human is cosmic gig theatre about the life of an atom performed by a brass band.

What is it all about?

Nearly Human doesn’t necessarily follow a narrative but Perhaps Contraption, a nine piece brass band take us through the life of the atoms that make up everything.

How did it make me feel?

Nearly Human is a feast for the senses. The closest thing I could liken it to would be a cross between the Aurora Orchestra and being cornered by a white man with dreadlocks at a house party. The way they move with their instruments is fascinating and exciting to watch but the constant stream of narrativeless cosmic pondering is less than theatrical.

Where Perhaps Contraption really shine is in their instrumentation and the show is at its best in the moments of chaos. The spoken portions of the show, predominantly performed by Iain MacDonald, lack any emotional gravitas and the fact that he reads from the script takes away from the overall atmosphere. In general the vocals were pitchy, with the exception of Micky McMillan who has a beautiful and strong tone of voice.

The contact juggling is also an interesting choice, it brings you back to the middle-class hippy mood this show has a habit of perpetuating. It doesn’t seem Christo Squier is very confident with the ball itself and the repetitive motions lose their novelty quickly.

It is worth noting stand out instrumental performances from Yusuf Narçin on Bass Trombone and Riccardo Castellani on Drums.

Anything else?

This show is an incredible feat of abundant talent, with a greater focus on the theatrical and narrative elements of the play it will be a real show stopper.

Serafina x

Nearly Human is playing in the Forge, VAULT Festival, until the 23rd February 2020.

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