Going Through tells this lived experience of child migration through a combination of British Sign Language, spoken English, and dynamic captioning to create a tender and poignant portrait of growing up and maternal love.
Omar Elerian provides subtle but perceptive direction, establishing a homey, calming tempo to Youmna and Nour’s daily rituals in Part One. Telling stories and teaching her sign, Youmna raises Nour like her own. But as Nour gets older, Youmna reveals that Nour’s real mother has arranged her passage out of the country for their reunion.
The pace picks up in Parts Two and Three, as Nour disguises herself as a boy in her journey. Rajha Shakiry’s design is dynamic and textural, with large blocks that travel across the stage and projections that reflect Nour’s travel. The shifting stage smartly evokes the vast and irreversible changes that occur in Nour’s life.
After failing to find her mother, Nour adjusts to her new home. Going Through is a retelling, which means many details, such as Nour’s difficulty with her papers, are left out. But while the trauma of her journey isn’t directly portrayed, it lingers and persists as Nour grows up, goes to school, and becomes a midwife.
Both Wombwell and Nadarajah are magnetic, speaking and signing with honesty and real warmth. The mixture of languages and text only emphasises Nour’s story. In a particularly touching scene, Nour returns to her first language as she helps a mother who only signs through labour.
Youmna never really leaves Nour, sending her off with a small box to open when Nour becomes a woman. The connection between them is everlasting. While Going Through passes through the grief, tragedy, and the bleak realities the migrant experience, its final depiction is of unwavering and transcendent love.
|What||Going Through, Bush Theatre review|
|Where||Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Shepherd's Bush (underground)|
28 Mar 19 – 27 Apr 19, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book now|