Writer and Director: Roisin Feeny
Directors: Gemma Rowan and Roisin Feeny
Reviewer: Richard Maguire
Taking place in the not-too-distant future, Wow Everything Is Amazingsees the internet worshipped as a religion. To prove their faith, new worshippers are persuaded to hand over all their data, and to share all their ideas. This new show by the young company Sounds Like Chaos is a mixture of song, film and comedy, and is startlingly original.
Wow Everything Is Amazing is staged in one of the many rooms that make up the Battersea Arts Centre, and features 15 actors, between the ages of 12 and 21. The audience is invited to sit on benches and join the rest of the congregation in this new church. There is an altar, and instead of stained glass windows film is projected on to screens. The choir sit on the right and sing hymns that fuse gospel and hip-hop, while our cheeky preacher man narrates proceedings into a microphone.
God may be invisible in the churches of traditional religions, but here the deity of the World Wide Web makes an appearance in the most modern of ways: on a Segway. Never has automated propulsion seemed so sinister as when the Godhead glides in and out of the church demanding love and data. Without a proper cast list, it’s impossible to give the name of the actor who stands so majestically yet ominously on these wheels.
Nearly every actor has their own slot, as the company tells the history of this new religion from dial-up days and audiophones (a scene that delights the older members of the audience) to the present day where humans are in danger of losing their individuality to be one with the Godhead. Devised by the whole company Wow is an inventive new way to discuss the alienating nature of the internet.
Running a swift 50-minutes, this episodic dystopian tale is spiritedly performed, and creative choreography keeps things moving. Despite the subject matter, the show is also very funny with most of the jokes coming from the two boys who keep guard at the internet’s portal, and our narrator who also sneaks in a couple of a scary backflips. This young company delivers.
Runs until 12 April 2019 | Image: Ali Wright