Leaving home, pitching up somewhere new and starting life afresh is never easy. It's more difficult still when moving to a vast sprawling city with a strange culture and an unfamiliar language. Exploring themes such as contemporary loneliness and what it means to be at home in a place, Cutting the Cord follows the life of a Japanese immigrant living in London as she tries to find her place in the world.
This latest offering from experimental theatre group Flying Eye is an affecting and cleverly constructed piece. From the moment the audience is brought into the theatre and herded onto the stage, a little confused and disoriented as the action darts from corner to corner, one can't help but share in the alienating experience of finding oneself in a new environment, or a new country, for the first time.
While certainly experimental theatre, it is by no means completely esoteric. There is a coherent narrative strand running throughout proceedings, focusing on performer Sachi Kimura's character as she settles in to life in the UK. Kimura perfectly blends together the sense of excitement and enthusiasm of being in a brand new country and starting a brand new life with a sense of nostalgia and longing for the place and people left behind. It's a subtly melancholic performance that becomes genuinely powerful as tragedy strikes back home and Kimura finds herself more and more alone in London.
Empathetic and humane, Cutting the Cord is a cross-continental journey that is immersive, thought-provoking and haunting: exactly what experimental theatre should be.