Writer: Tom Hartwell
Director: Annie Stoffels
Reviewer: T. L. Wiswell
It’s hard to pin down the chaotic madness that lies at the heart of You Tweet My Face Space. It’s billed as a social media comedy, but it’s so much more than just a few sad jokes about hashtags and defriending people. Sure, there are some obvious jokes (the strange popularity of cat videos; what it means to have a relationship labeled “it’s complicated” on Facebook), and at the start of the evening it feels like that was going to be it: a thin veneer on a traditional relationship comedy.
Sure, there are some obvious jokes (the strange popularity of cat videos; what it means to have a relationship labeled “it’s complicated” on Facebook), and at the start of the evening, it feels like that is going to be it: a thin veneer on a traditional relationship comedy.
David (Tom Hartwell) and Charlotte (Megan King) have a little something coming between them: it’s the internet, and David seems to have a problem turning it off. Charlotte’s bids for attention are very recognisable, and David’s distraction – well, it seems to be the malady of many couples. Whether it’s Facebook, Minecraft, keeping up the blog, or bouncing back and forth onto WhatsApp, people seem to be spending so much time staying connected that they’re forgetting how to just be with the people who are right in front of them.
And this seems like it is going to be the hub of the evening’s entertainment, although having things blow up due to a photo posted on Facebook is an original twist. But then… everything gets bizarre. Personifications of various social media platforms begin to come onto the stage, arguing with David about the value they are adding to his life and explaining that he really can’t live without them. The first to appear is, of course, Facebook, as played by the devilishly handsome Evan Rees. David and Facebook wrestle in a scene that draws more from Faust or Damn Yankees than a lightweight rom-com; is the argument that social media is costing our souls?
Fortunately, a potential turn to the grim is avoided as the rest of the social media icons make their way to the stage and debate their relative merits and powers. A comic turn is provided by Farmville (Katie Dalzell), who bemoans her impending death; and both Instagram (Ellie Goffe) and Snapchat (Isabel Patterson) bemoan their acquisition of (and bullying by) Facebook. The David/Charlotte story does move forward, but it’s the media characters that really make this story come to life, and they really deliver the goods.
With a finger so firmly on the pulse of this quickly changing domain, You Tweet My Face Spaceis able to hit one comedic note after another – it was hard to breathe while laughing so much, and the one-hour length is just perfect as the show never outstays its welcome. It’s a pity it’s only running for four nights as it seems likely to appeal to a broad swathe of Londoners – pretty much every person who walks down the street looking at their phone instead of watching the path in front of them. And these days, that is just about everyone.
Runs until 28 January 2016 | Image:Boots &Cats Productions