In Control

The premise of this devised piece, championed by Director Alex Hargreaves, is to break down the usual comforts of viewing horror in a cinema and instead bring the story to a place where the action is far more palpable: the theatre. This, he says, forces us to experience the terror as the characters do and "challenge the conventions of theatrical expectation.”

The intensity at times was almost tangible, the violence handled stylishly, and the acting superb.

What unfolds very quickly is a slightly surreal and unexplained hostage situation, where three "controllers" seem to take great pleasure in torturing their victims into admitting their individual wrongdoings. Each "victim," it seems, has a guilty conscience. The controllers won't stop until each of their truths are exposed, to each other and to the audience. Who, we are asked, deserves to die?

This piece doesn’t chill to the bone, though it brings us to the edge of our seats. The actors are engrossing but they fall short of creating a feeling of real fear, which is a little disappointing. However this doesn’t take away from things this show does extremely well: the intensity at times was almost tangible, the violence handled stylishly, and the acting superb. The plot could be accused of being a little arbitrary and I did feel that elements of the story are things we've seen before. But that really is being picky with a show that crackled with tension and and made a good attempt at challenging conventions. I just think they could have gone even further, delved even darker, because they had us, and we would have been with them all the way. 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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The Blurb

An original devised piece. In Control will explore how shocking situations can become familiarised through film and media, in particular, situations featuring captive victims and interrogatory oppressors. In Control will present to its audience a sight that is familiar within film and media, hostages tied to a chair and victimised by three anonymous voices, and explore the differing effects of co-present performers and spectators.