It seems an obvious thing for theatre to address, the 'new world' the online-interweb-hyperhighway, for that is where we do much of our interaction today, and relationships and freindships are maintained and strengthened, even rekindled down these ubiquitous electric tubes.
The days of snailmail produced the epistolary novel, and an epistolary novel gave us 'Dangerous Liasons', so surely it's high time we had a decent play that reflects the way we write to each other nowadays?
Well the world being a big place, and full of creative types it's entirely possible that someone has done this before, but the first time I've seen anybody tackle it as a theme is when I went last night to see 'connected' as part of this years unFringed(sic).
And how did they do? They did brilliantly. Karl Quinn and Will Irvine do a fantastic job at making the virtual 'real' as well as dramatic/comprehensible and true. They do so in a very physical and innovative way that had their audience grinning with pure pleasure.
I had niggles, I wouldn't be me if I didn't, but before I get in to them I have re-iterate that this was a gem of a show, creative and brave, and getting to see it for a mere tenner I felt like a lucky, lucky man indeed.
1# The acoustics in 36 Cecil St. and the use of sound effects made it very difficult to hear the opening dialogue, which was a little frustrating and I don't want to start watching a play feeling even slightly frustrated.
2# The stage is bare, the office that the two men work in, and the various online 'realities' they inhabit are evoked for us by the actors use of mime. When they are in the office reality one ribs the other mercilessly, with jokes and snide comments which is fine but when he also mimes things(as office-bound piss-takers do ) it kind of jarred with my brain a little. I would have found the convention clearer and more comprehensible if the actors only mimed what was 'real'.
3# SPOILER ALERT Ironically enough, 'the real world' element of the story was the least engaging reality. There is a 'ticking clock' deadline, and one character has an important choice to make, but personally I didn't get a sense of any gravity to these elements.
The deadline is missed, and there are no real consequences, one character is frustrated that this has happened but it's hard to see why.SPOILER OVER
Over all the show is so enjoyable that these minor niggles are hardly worth the mention. If you want to see a comedy that's fun and fresh that depicts the world online in a clever, creative, and hilarious way, the connected is the show for you.
I'd go see it again
and I don't say that of many things.