Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, the list goes on. It is no secret that over the course of the past decade and the corresponding apex of the so-called ‘digital age’, society has grown increasingly reliant on social media. Those more prudent and of a circumspect demeanor will have also noticed a distinct shift in social attitudes and culture. Timeline, a verbatim TwoBox theatre production, attempts to capture just that: to extrapolate conversations from the public domain and uniquely portray them as a synergy of real-life interactions. The result is a vast array of conglomerated and coagulated social media communiqués.
Timeline follows the happenings of five recently matriculated university students as they face the prospect of living alone for the first time in their lives. Topics included partying and sex (need they even be mentioned); the drama of a first serious relationship; job-hunting; also, of course, the stress and procrastination that go hand in hand with exams - something with which I for one can certainly sympathise. Despite a fairly accurate albeit stereotypical representation of uni life, a minority of the material that drew laughs towards the beginning of the show later became increasingly cliché owing to the repetition. At times the dialogue was more reminiscent of an offshoot of The Inbetweeners. Nonetheless, the show was well executed and most definitely had its moments. There was a fairly facetious depiction of what ‘Facebook stalking’ might perhaps look like in real life. Highlights also included a strong dramatic performance by Rory O’Shea as Ben, confronting depression and self-doubt.
Interesting, innovative and free-spirited, Timeline is an ambitious production. Complete with an avant-garde feel and unique spin on social media, it manages to conjure and impress upon the audience a wide range of sentiments, ranging from the dramatic to the humorous.