• Amy Toledano

Welcome To Nowhere by Carmen Law

Image courtesy of Lexi Clare

What is it?

Carmen Law explores what it means to belong to more than one place, and how to find your identity amongst this.

What's it all about?

Born and raised in Hong Kong, but proud owner of a British Passport, Law has always been too Westernised for her peers but too Chinese for the UK. Finding herself stuck in "Nowhere" she expresses her difficulties of not being able to break into either, and how she intends on getting herself to wherever it is she belongs.

Multimedia is used throughout to show us the stereotypical things we know about Hong Kong and China as a whole, bleeding in the obvious and the ridiculous, and trying to find the humour in them.

As Law finds herself getting closer to a decision about her identity, she is forced to realise the heaviness of the world she lives in, and what it means to protect it and support it.

How did it make me feel?

This piece takes a little bit to get moving but once it does it is an excellent and heartfelt exploration of nationality and identity. Law has a natural charm, that resonates throughout, and draws us in.

The writing is clever, using both English and Cantonese to tell the story - as the two languages weave in and out of the text, painting a picture of both Laws present and past life.

The story takes an honest turn in its last section, as Law reflects on the state of her home, and the ways in which she feels alienated from it and guilty at not protecting it the way she should. The moment is raw and powerful and rounds out the piece to the same state of "Nowhere" that we began at.

There are also various movement sections that are beautiful and angsty, and fill the audience with a sense of what cannot be said.

Anything Else?

The piece delves deeply into what it means to feel lost in where you belong, and does so in a clever and often humourous way. However the piece feels like there is more left to be explored, as Law has such an open and engaging style.

Amy x

Welcome To Nowhere is playing at Tristan bates Theatre on the 16th November 2019.

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