Bump, Vault Festival – Review

Some say there’s no such thing as ‘destiny’, only random chance. Others take the opposite point of view, embracing that which can’t be rationally explained. And then there is the median view – with string theory and quantum entanglement presupposing that atoms that have once collided forever influence each other, no matter how far apart. In Bump, which is directed by Michael Woodwood, the collision of two individuals one fateful day forever changes their respective lives.

Ian (Andrew Hollingworth) works in the customer services department of PC World, while Eliana (Oriana Charles) works with primary school children. On his way to a job interview, Ian (or rather the car Ian borrowed from his brother) is bumped into by Eliana when she is momentarily distracted. Exchanging details leads to ‘coffee’ and much more…

Much of what makes Bump so enjoyable stems from the facial expressions and body language of its performers. Through their choreography, Charles and Hollingworth effortlessly convey that they are (despite obvious differences) leading parallel lives. There’s much fun to be had when Ian and Eliana aren’t being entirely honest with each other or when Ian’s ‘slow on the uptake’.

It would be a disservice just to describe the show as ‘boy meets girl’, as it’s the execution that sets this show apart. Sound effects and their timely use play a big part in heightening the physicality of the comedy, as well as showing how the same TV programmes and dialogue can be interpreted differently.

The show’s denouement puts a different perspective on things, as the ‘choice’ that Eliana has to make not only brings the play full circle, but whether she will embrace the messy, ‘accidental’ events of life.

© Michael Davis 2018


Bump runs at the Vault Festival until 18th February.


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