Nel is a beguiling tale of a young woman, alone in her life and in need friendship and company. What sets this regular theme apart from others is the pure artistry and imagination that underpin the show’s success. It is easy to see how Scratchworks won the NSDF Fringe Award for Overall Body of Work at Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 and no doubt they will continue to win further accolades in the near future.

The talented cast of 4 have created the world of Nel who is a foley artist – Nel creates and records the sound effects for films. In her world, a tyre-screech is a hot water bottle, an epic fight scene is composed of frozen cabbages and snapping rhubarb. But her real world isn’t turning out so well. Her cat has died and she’s accidentally poisoned her fish.

The superb use of onstage foley artistry, physical theatre and accapella song enables the show to move seamlessly through an inspiring range of visual and audio delights. The pace is generally good and the shifts of emotions remain honest and heartfelt.
The company of Hanora Kamen, Alice Higginson, Laura Doble and Sian Keen have created a production that is hugely engaging bringing together traditional storytelling in a unique and inventive format. This beautifully executed show is quirky, original and bursting with genuine creative talent; certainly worth seeing and a company to follow further.

**** – (4 Stars)

Petra Schofield

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