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REAL LIFE
RONDO THEATRE

 

This new piece from Flipside Theatre, written and directed by the clearly very talented Pippa Thornton, centres on Hannah, not long out of university, who shares a flat with her bestest friend – but, problem is, best friend has a good job (unspecified) which she likes. Hannah does not, and bemoans the fate of many a millennial nowadays; crap job in a call centre, despite her degree; high rent and low wages, and no prospects. Who wouldn’t be fed up with that? Hannah becomes obsessed with social media, and in particular with the blog of someone she went to school with, Megan, who seemingly has a great life which she posts about online, has lots of followers, even makes a living out of it. This is portrayed with the aid of a nicely-conceived onstage device in which ‘posts’ appear in a live imitation of a screen which the lights go up on as characters pose in it. The episodic action, punctuated by blackouts to indicate the passage of time, follows Hannah as she seeks to emulate the glamorous Megan with a blog of her own, and the consequences of that on all three characters. All in all, this is an imaginatively staged, witty and piercing examination of the vapidity of the world of social media; of what does or doesn’t constitute ‘real life’; and of the value of friendship. The cast are outstanding, in particular Bethany Heath, who effortlessly portrays three totally different Megans: the one online; the one in Hannah’s imagination; and the unexpected real Megan. Clever stuff.

 


****

  


John Christopher Wood