Take the premise of George Orwell’s
As a dystopian sci-fi story, this play works perfectly.
The play begins in a world that has been rebuilt after the ‘Rupture’, the collapse of our modern world to the apocalyptic effects of climate change. The main character, average-Joe type Jay, has just begun his new job at a government entity called the Bureau. Through various conversations with his co worker Ellis, the Bureau is revealed as a operation purposed with culling people deemed not profitable enough to society according to their algorithms in order to keep the rest of the population alive. After Jay is given his own mum on his kill list, he starts to question his place in the Bureau and works to uncover the truth.
Even with the rehashed concept, this play succeeds in touching on themes around the ignorance of society and the need to fit into the norm from a new perspective. Jay’s ‘normal guy’ character is a refreshing change from the noble, self-sacrificing heroes we’re seeing on the big screen so often now. Despite the fact it is set a hundred years in the future, the characters are relatable and recognisable.
The simple staging of this play also helped to break away from the more traditional feel of its writing. Simple costumes and almost no props meant the actors were free to improvise when it came to representing technology, interacting with the air in place of holographic screens. And to transition between the scenes, loud, electronic music tumbles out over the speakers while the characters interact in a sort of dance to keep the audience intrigued. Sometimes, however, the sound effects are a little too loud, making it difficult to hear all of the actors’ dialogue.
As a dystopian sci-fi story, this play works perfectly. With only a few technical issues and some less than inspiring acting to set it back, the compelling story, intriguing interludes and the occasional joke made this show worth the watch, especially for those who like leave the theatre with something to think about.