Worlds Apart. 20.4.23. Northern Stage.

Developing the personal experiences of a collection of young carers, unpaid adult carers, and residential care occupiers, Worlds Apart is a project led by local charity Woven Nest exploring several, important, societal themes.

Told through the eyes of the central character, 13-year-old, Esme, Worlds tells the tale of a broken family, trying to rebuild their own individual and collective lives and identities.  Using an interesting blend of stage and sound aesthetics, the success of the show is its ability to move our three central characters (Esme, her mum ‘Helen’ and Grandma ‘Penny’) into a number of different environments (including a stationary family living room, and various immersive video games); a production technique which cleverly moves the exterior facades of our characters whilst maintaining their inner, ’true’, selves.

Traversing the show through the real and virtual worlds, World’s succeeds by finding subtle ways to weave secondary-story lines about gender identity, dementia and living with chronic pain, into the central narrative of the show.

Some fantastic acting, particularly by 13 year old Ayla Brown – incredibly making her stage debut tonight – allows the nuances of the show to land naturally, rather than feeling pushed or over-emphasised.

Humorous in some places, yet deeply sad in others, Worlds Apart does a great job of hitting several creative, acting and storytelling highs when making succinct points.  Fantastic stuff.

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