Devised theatre can so easily go either way; it can ignite inspired
sparks of brilliance, or it can all seem rather contrived. Sadly,
@Virtually_real falls into the latter category. Set
simultaneously online and in reality, the piece fuses the lives played
out in cyberspace with the consequences of the real world. It’s an
interesting idea for a play, but it builds to a somewhat disappointing
It’s a shame, as the young cast are great: Simon Prag (Adam/Buck), Cem
Pakiry Turgut (Mehmet/Trouble T Roy) and Sophie Frost (Emilia/Artemis)
show particular promise. However, distinguishing between real and
online life is far from easy to achieve in a theatrical setting, and
the attempts seem a bit forced. While it’s brilliant that the
Roundhouse Theatre Company don’t shy away from a challenge, it’s
unfortunate that this otherwise talented company settled on an idea
that is a little too slippery to get a handle on.
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