Chatroom (4 stars)

Intense and dramatic production of Enda Walsh’s cyber-bullying tale at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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This article is from 2014.

Chatroom

Irish writer Enda Walsh’s name on the poster isn’t always cause for optimism; for every inspirational item like Once, there’s tiresome self-indulgence like Penelope. No Prophet Theatre have chosen to revive his 2005 play, a timely and direct investigation of the world on internet activity. Initial discussions of Willy Wonka, JK Rowling and Britney Spears give way to darker areas; depression, suicide and cyber-bullying.

Jim (James Lewis) has issues that Laura (Edith Poor) can’t resolve; he seeks friendship and understanding in a chatroom, but finds himself a divisive element between Jack (Lachlan Bond), Emily (Amy Dunn), William (Patrick Fleming) and Eva (Serena Jennings). The action of Walsh’s play is largely confirmed to the written expressions of the six characters, delivered from seated positions directly to the audience.

Although the presentation is simple and lacks flair, the effect is intense and dramatic as Jim bounces between the other characters, seeking solace but finding understanding hard to come by. The final scenes, in which the group are challenged to come out from behind their keyboards are fleetingly but hauntingly caught on video-footage; director Will Merrick hits the spot with this dark, jagged production.

C nova, 0845 260 1234, until 25 Aug (not 12) £9.50–£11.50, (£7.50–£9.50)

This article is from 2014.

Chatroom

  • 4 stars

Six young characters communicate only via the internet in this play which tackles teenage issues.

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