Synergy

'Do you realize you are being conditioned?' the audience is asked over and over in the course of the play. Coming from the small but persistent voice of Synergy's token misfit, this question takes the form 'Why are you not questioning this limited existence you are living?’ Two ragtag gangs, much like the Lost Boys, live alternate lives in light and darkness: one talks blindly of theories and perception, the other watches the world in silence and awe. The innocent and childlike creatures are performed by an incredible group who are endless entertainment to watch; the stage comes alive in light, the hum of keen voices fill the darkness. With an oppressive mother figure hanging over, they do not challenge these existences, until one misfit puts a spanner in the works.

It is a stylish little play set in an isolated and almost dystopian playground. Although friendships visibly divide it, shown by their differing painted faces, there is a familial wholeness to the group as though they mean everything to one another. It is curious to watch as they actively limit their senses, and the peals of laughter that break out when the lights fade suggest a playful and lighthearted community faced with no heavy burdens. The arrival of the misfit is a cause for much distress, as her challenge to the blissful norm appears threatening.

The play makes a valid point about how easily we can hide from the consequences of our words, an excellent example being the ease of spreading opinions over social media. Synergy's mother figure discusses the vulnerability of her clans if they were to see and speak, yet their ability to hurt others is not restricted by blindness. The clan in darkness therefore, would perhaps be more effective if they did not recognise one another's voices, but even then, a nameless voice can be as hurtful. Similarly, absence of words does not avert misunderstanding in visual communication. It is however a fact of growing up, that one must face the consequences of ones actions. This is a very refreshing and interesting piece of escapist theatre.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

Synergy is: making eye contact across the room. Uttering your first words. Acclimation, escape, and two worlds - one of sight and the other of sound – coping with the fear of being left alone, unloved, or unlovable.

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