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Future Shock (24:7 Festival)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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As the title alludes to, Future Shock is a play set in the future, with an interesting science fiction style that raises very earthly and human questions about how far a person would go for love. Written by experienced scriptwriter Richard Stockwell, directed by Elisa Amesbury and produced by King Time Productions, the play premiered last night at New Century House as part of the 24:7 Theatre Festival.

Future Shock begins with sleeping beauty, Laura (Alice Brockway), awakened by a jab to her neck from Nicoletta (Christine Clare), a robotic medic. It transpires that Laura made a deal with her scientist lover that they would both be put to sleep, in the name of scientific research, to be woken 800 years later and resume their life together. However, ‘they’ (the soulless humans who are now running the show) woke her 100 years earlier than planned in 2879, because she's run out of money. Laura is then faced with the dilemma of whether to make the best of the century she has landed in, or be killed so that her lover can reconstitute her DNA and rebuild her, when he wakes up.

All very far-fetched, but somehow interestingly uncomplicated, made lighter by the familiar 21st century colloquialisms and jokes delivered by a frustrated and increasingly vexed Alice Brockway. Christine Clare gives a scene-stealing performance as the stony-faced and heartless scientist, blessed with some clever comic lines that were well-timed and well-delivered. Nicoletta’s underling, Stampfer, played by Phil Minns, brings a touching middleground to the opposites of the scientist and her guinea pig, creating a mechanical, yet sympathetic, ally to the desperate Laura.

- Francesca Waite


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