Worth seeing, if only for the chance to catch a few potential future stars at the start of their professional careers
This urge to tell, rather than just show, betrays an earnestness in the production that ever-so-slightly rankles; Mark Thomson’s name may be on the script, but this is a work largely inspired by workshops of young people, for performance by The Network—a new theatre ensemble created by the Scottish Drama Training Network and Pleasance Futures to help young performers make the transition from training to work in the industry. There’s a lot of talent on show here—Shyvonne Ahmmad is particularly notable as central character Jax—but their characters’ blindness to their own privileges is frankly annoying.
Nor does it help that there’s a genuine sense of Thomson, as both writer and director, throwing a whole sack of theatrical tricks into the mix. Some are well used; barrages of light and sound very effectively reflects how this millennial generation exist within a constant whirl of social media and shared information, and the pressures this puts on them to mine their own lives for material. Yet others are more questionable: a disconnected WiFi router represented by an apparently “isolated” blind person (stereotypically wearing dark glasses and using a white stick) is at best a joke in poor taste.
Thomson has brought together a talented production—as well he might, given his own experience in the industry—with Alisa Kalyanova’s set and Taylor Buntain’s sound design working well to create an overall environment for the characters. This is certainly worth seeing, if only for the chance to catch a few potential future stars at the start of their professional careers, but it’s by no means the argument for its generation it wants to be.