Having to read the blurb on the back of the flyer at the end of the show, checking that the point hasn't flown over heads, is never a good sign. Though good intentions are patent and the elusive 'moral' and 'point' is apparently within grasp,
The show itself seems to make an attempt at critical thinking, but doesn’t push the emerging thoughts to any conclusion.
Four storylines with four different characters struggle to connect in a dramatic structure. Like flicking between the channels when the news is on – perhaps that's the right way to interpret it? – there is a certain plateau of tone that doesn't lift. When there is an injection of humour and mockery over technology and social media, the episode goes on a touch too long and the black out light can't come fast enough.
The writer is clearly passionate and well educated in discussions of politics and the age of the Internet, but it seems like too much attention was put on stage devices like televisions showing home videos and news channels from the US to the UK, tweeting birds and Guy Fawkes masks. More time could have been spent knitting themes and stories together – aye, they all get to say their piece, from women in media to Scottish Independence, but collected together with no conclusions and steps forward, it leaves a feeling of helplessness and muddlement as the veil of all media-related issues is lifted. The themes are relevant and some interactions between the cast are visually intriguing – Mary's interview scene captures the claustrophobic nature of the scenario through overlapping questions and spotlighting that deserves a nod of approval.
The definitive sentence of the play explains and denounces patriots as 'people who would never think critically in their lives'. The show itself seems to make an attempt at critical thinking, but doesn’t push the emerging thoughts to any conclusion. This is a thought-provoking but perplexing foundation for a newer and more conclusive Patriots in future.