Nobulus is an Austrian company with an international cast of eight men and two women, directed by Alex Wengler — the man responsible for Out of the Shadows. It tells a cautionary tale, from the creation of the universe and the evolution of man, to an imaginary apocalyptic future. The way it tells this story is highly original. There are no sets, and almost no costumes; for large periods of the work the performers are in skin-tight black body-stockings which also cover the head, giving them the look of animated mummies or twitching foetuses. The start is electrifying, as a solid black mass explodes into individual shapes, which then go into the most exciting bursts of break-dancing I have seen.

The main protagonist is a man, Wengler himself, at first an innocent, who learns how to walk, to dance, to type, to ride a motor-bike, and whose search for love with Eleni Arapaki is constantly frustrated by her flirting with other characters, until at last a beautiful duet unites them, though there is no feeling of joy. As the work progresses the black-clad dancers form themselves into desks, bars, carriages, animals and motorbikes; morphing into structures and even machines. These developments are punctuated, sometimes enhanced, by bursts of dance or acrobatics. We could have done with much more of it, as that is what gives the show its impact. As it goes on, the work begins to run out of steam – metaphorically – certainly not physically. Wengler himself is a highly talented break-dancer, but somehow fails to make us like him, which leaves an emotional hole at the centre of the piece. It ends with its jerky white narrator warning us, in a distorted bass voice and with robotic gestures, that man could revert again to the shadows. I was surprised by the amount of humour in this piece, and delighted, like the rest of the audience, when each performer had a momentary show-off solo during the curtain calls. The best bit of the show.