OnlineReview

All the King’s Men – Living Record Festival

Reviewer – Dominic Corr

Creator: Chronic Insanity 

Have you heard of this band? Princess and the Peas? Phenomenal music, gripping and challenges expectations and the establishment? But you won’t find much if you search for them online. Well, you might find one fan website, but it seems as though something is up with the singer and their parent’s connections with…

Well, perhaps we’ve said too much.

Down the rabbit-hole, shifting the sands of perception from the mundane fanatics of website hopping to the more insidious realities of ‘dead-drops’ and in-person adventure, All The King’s Men takes audiences through the trials and tribulations of right and wrong – challenging us in our uses of technology and moral compass. With audio links, original scoring and video performance, Chronic Insanity stretch the dimensions of digital shows to new heights and reinforce the capabilities of production companies away from in-person theatre.

Metatextual, in a manner only digital theatre can provide, Chronic Insanity’s latest production shifts between pre-recorded video sequences, storytelling, interactive emails and even the construction of websites, tasking audiences with furthering the story at their pace. Colliding the mediums of game and theatre, the recent adoration for puzzles and escape rooms alike have generated an interest in becoming involved within the narrative, generating momentum alongside these creators – rather than sitting ideally by and watching.

Game master Joe Strickland orchestrates a seemingly complex but streamlined series of narrative threads which take branching paths – though a word of warning to some, hiccups with Junk email boxes may slow pacing for audiences, so keep an eye out. Further, as Chronic Insanity slips into the real world the options and outcomes become limited by the finale, and serve as a double-edged moment of innovation, leaving the audience with a desire for more. A compliment as always but leaves All the King’s Men feeling a touch on the shorter side.

There is re-visitation within the piece, the filmed sequences offer branching narratives, and though they may have a few too many pauses to allow audiences a breather, it brings in a thrilling element otherwise unexpected. To listen to an audio recording, performing a dead drop of coordinates, suddenly watching those around you, the show begins to take on a tangible and imaginative presence.

And though the plot is never fully fleshed out beyond the superficial, there’s a deeper story to be found within – one we strongly recommend audiences spend time reading and looking through the website to further understand. You may even find yourself researching coordinates and street names yourself…

The Living Record Festival runs 17 January – 22 February 2022. Available to stream here

The Reviews Hub Score

Metatextual

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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