Reviewer: Emma Plotkin
Listen – digital marimba ringtones in endless arpeggios are overlaid with the seemingly found sounds of pedestrians, muffled as if below a bridge. Feed overwhelms the senses with information. A funhouse mirror reflection of privilege, social media culture and egoism, the play instructs – scream into the void and if anyone responds, scream louder. It says, if screaming doesn’t work, try something else, “it doesn’t feel, it learns.”
This concept is embodied by a journalist whose story about a young boy killed in Gaza goes viral. The writer feeds into this success, dispensing with any moral ambiguities as necessary. From self-aggrandizing to self-destructive, her humanity is removed with the click of a button.
A troll from the “weird part” of Twitter, and brother of a click-bait social activist, plays the devil amongst us. He inspires self-destruction in a nihilistic reverie. His newest disciple is a makeup blogger. Seemingly genuine and with good intention, she quickly devolves into horrendous self-mutilation to appeal to a blood hungry audience. Her martyrdom is fed by a craving for connection. As she produces material she gains likes, clicks, and retweets. She does not only create the feed, her interior is fed.
This extraordinary production melds expert sound with a nuanced and genuine storyline. The movement is surreal and comical – like an Andy Warhol painting. With Buffo absurdism, this will deeply resonate with millennials and those who disparage and fear the grid.
The ending is somewhat predictable but it brings up the essence behind the entertainment: “whose story is it? Who should tell it? How do they tell it?” and…”Will it do anything?” Drowning in choices, unable to create change and stuck on your phone all day? This play won’t set it all right but it will certainly offer perspective.
Runs until 27 August 2018 | Image: Nathan Chandler