I Love You, Bro
Tragedy for the dotcom generation
This article is from 2008.
Johnny (Ash Flanders) just wants to be someone, and online he can be anyone he wants. What starts out as a humorous look at socialising in the digital era swiftly morphs into a dark analysis of our atomised society.
After a chance online meeting with the object of his desire, stud footballer ‘Markymark’, Johnny heads into a downward spiral of complex lies and multiple characters.
Struggling with his sexuality, he finds release communicating with Markymark by creating a female character, Jess. This leads to a convoluted scenario involving fictitious characters such as little brother Leo, Jane Bond and agent 47695. This escapism is a powerful temptation and Johnny’s ability to indulge completely in his constructed reality is, somehow, eerily recognisable.
Yvonne Virsik’s production unfolds in front of a computer screen with projections of Johnny’s fragmented thoughts on the backdrop. Flanders’ representation of this disturbed teen is compelling (although his accent can be distracting). Based on a true story, this is an intense exploration of the dark side of the teen psyche, scattered with sharp humour as the protagonist teaches us online chat abbreviations and we ROFL, or at the very least LOL.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 19), 2.25pm, £8–£9 (£6.50–£7.50).