In Static, a man in his early twenties describes growing up. Not much else happens. He does this by referencing large current affairs events from the past twenty years - 9/11, the July 7th bombings in London, the riots. At the end of the play, the audience has been informed that these events happened (in case they were unaware) and then everyone leaves to go about their daily business.
Static is an unremarkable show. This does not necessarily mean that it is bad, but simply incredibly average. Essentially a monologue, Hugh McCann gives an earnest and expressive performance, keen to capture his audience’s attention. Occasionally he does this quite well; a segment regarding his character’s rather disturbing dreams about a shooting at his school stands out as the most interesting. He also proves his ability to present multiple characters effectively with different voices and physicality, though this could be improved by quicker switches between these characters.
Unsurprisingly, there are bits of static played intermittently throughout the show. Occasionally the actor will completely freeze during these bits, other times he will simply pause. The purpose of these bits is not apparent. Perhaps they are there to break up the scenes but one feels that if this is the case then they need not have lasted nearly as long as they did.
Static describes itself as a ‘political’ and ‘storytelling’ show, which is unfortunate. There is not much of a story told bar that of an average young adult and his experience of large historical events. The most interesting parts of this story were when the character was talking about personal events rather than political ones. A segment about social-awkwardness during a party is far believable than a description of participation in the London riots. The play does not seem to want to make any political statements – but merely to state that these political events happened. Any political leanings it occasionally hints at are usually nothing that has not already been said before.
Static is a decent exploration of a character, a less decent exploration of political issues. As a free show, it cannot be said that it does not provide value for money. Value for time? If you’re looking for something with a bit more political bite, perhaps not. If you want a decent one-man character piece, then perhaps so.