American company The Pack bring their space-age feminist performance piece to the Fringe, but it seemed like getting their heads around it was a little out of the audience’s grasp. Co-creators Brittany Costa and Samantha Sheppard make impressive use of multimedia projections, sound effects and costume to create their futuristic world, though some of the gimmicks wear thin, or don’t work so well in the large space.
The cast are clearly accomplished physical performers, but unfortunately some of the symmetry and precision between them is lost to the large space
Natalie, Morgan and Annie get up each morning, get ready, go to work, always wearing their shiny ‘master devices’ on their wrists. It’s your average future-world-vision - the way the three women use the devices make them recognisable as a more advanced Siri, designed to enhance the user’s living experience. For the first segment of the performance, the audience see the trio go through their daily routines over and over - same words, same movements.
It gets tedious a little quickly - there has to be a better, more engaging way of showing repetition than just making the audience watch the same thing over and over. Arguably, it brings the audience into the same experience of monotony as the characters, but it feels like a waste of stage time as the audience lose interest.
Eventually Annie (Samantha Sheppard) breaks the mould, speaking out of line, questioning her surroundings. One morning, the three of them can’t get in to travel to work - their devices have been cut off, and their world is thrown into chaos. From this point, while the action gets more interesting, it becomes a lot harder to follow - the women are thrown into some sort of gameshow hellscape, with only the voice of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s floating head (yes, you read that right) for guidance.
The performances are slick from all three actors and Helen Anstis’ costume designs really bring the piece’s future world to life - the cast are clearly accomplished physical performers, but unfortunately some of the symmetry and precision between them is lost to the large space, as it’s hard to watch all three of them at once. There’s a lot of promising messages about the future for women, but they get lost in the over-complicated world that The Pack use to portray them.