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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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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 climax.

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.

- Miranda Fay Thomas


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