Review: North Country

The cast of North Country.
The cast of North Country.
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By Yvette Huddleston

Bradford’s Freedom Studios consistently deliver top-quality ground-breaking work, sharing stories of the city that fit with the company’s aim to reflect and connect its diverse communities.

Many of their productions are site-specific or staged in non-theatre spaces, and their latest production is no exception. Writer Tajinder Singh Hayer’s thoughtful post-apocalyptic drama North Country is being presented in the basement of a former M&S store in the city centre. And the pared-back makeshift nature of the pop-up venue is perfectly in sync with the play’s themes.

Set in Bradford after a plague wipes out most of the world’s population, it follows the fortunes of three teenaged survivors – Harvinder, Nusrat and Alleyne – as they find a way of going forward, uniting their communities and building a new Bradford together while making difficult decisions about which aspects of their cultural heritage they wish to retain and which to discard. The three young actors – Natalie Davies, Philip Duguid-McQuillan and Kamal Kaan – all create powerful and nuanced characterisations, under excellent direction from Alex Chisholm who makes use of every corner of the unconventional performance space.

To November 5. Details