DramaNorth WestReview

Things We Chose to Save – HOME, Manchester

Devised by Clown Funeral

Reviewer Katherine Kirwin

Things We Chose to Save presents a near future in which we can record, store, replay and even sell memories at will. All of this is overseen by a magnanimous company who seek to change the world and prevent anything passing out of ‘living memory’ for the greater good of everyone’s collective memories.

So far, so Black Mirror. Clown Funeral have created a super slick, polished production interestingly using light boxes, LED phone cases to light their own faces and the space of the drama we should see. This is beautiful and efficient staging, using technology in a theatrical way and communicating the situation through staging, ie watching a video on a phone, without spelling it out to the audience. Every scene change was choreographed and refined, as well as the interesting disconnect of having characters face different directions during dialogue, passing small props through the ether with ease.

Yet there was something lacking, perhaps it is because the well-crafted staging, style and interesting concept lead the audience to expect more. The performances are strong, the characters are recognisable, relatable but not exceptional. Samuel Thoroughgood’s tech-boss is a highlight as smarmy, manipulative, self-deceiving Alec and yet displays vulnerability at points. However, overall it felt like this story needs to go a step further, either the memory sold needs to be more shocking in content or ‘edited’ by the company so it is unrecognisable from what was sold.

Things We Need to Save needs to take a dramatic turn for one of the characters so that the audience can be wrapped up in the unfolding drama rather than watching it like a Netflix show in the background whilst checking their Facebook timelines.

Reviewed on 8 July 2018 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. 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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