Theatre Ad Infinitum
Unity Theatre
10th February 2015

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

Fish With Chips

How appropriate is it that this company are back at the Unity tonight, on what has euphemistically been celebrated as International Internet Security Day. Light, (the codename for metadata, collected en bloc via new technologies on us all), is set in the distant future where today's revelations by Edward Snowden are small beer compared with the impact of the perverse intrusions and manipulations perpetrated by corporate, criminal or state hackers on the human psyche itself.

Ad Infinitum's Director, George Mann, does not beat about the bush. Their last incursion into Unity 1, The Ballad Of The Burning Bush was an innovative attempt at looking at the Palestinian conundrum. This performance, ten years in the making, also does not shy away from asking the important questions that matter.

In total darkness, punctuated only by random bursts of strobe lighting or ear splitting music, there is no actual talking from the five actors on stage. An electronic screen on the back wall clarifies the visible action when required; there is as much going on in the dark.

The drama takes place around the metaspace domain of thought processing and transmission. However, for the first half of the 70 minute one act 'show', a fair rendition is given to the less than savoury practices used in the name of security, in an attempt to provide for the safety of us all.

The manic action takes place as the cast effortlessly group and re-group with the aid of magical light manipulation and creative dexterity. The pivotal moment comes when a Nobel Prize is won for human memory and dream capture. You know it makes sense, the screen screams, (or words to that effect).

Enter the corrupt surveillance entrepreneur, out to make a killing,and his mother eager to cleanse humanity of criminal and violent thoughts. The unfortunate caught in the middle takes it full square on his temples as red and green lights zoom everywhere tracking his tortured mental world in cyberspace.

The ultimate nightmare scenario materialises when implants, voluntary or otherwise, create a dystopia too far. One where the last visage of freedom, human thought, is defenceless against state intrusion.

What can possibly happen next?

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