Working Title: The Orpheus Project
Nomanstime Automatics stage a reference-heavy sci-fi noir at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
This two-hander certainly wears its references on its sleeve. The Orpheus Project takes its cues from modernist dystopias, Kafka's The Trial and the classical story of frustrated love to depict the city of London as an authoritarian city state run by the ominously named The Corporation. As events unfold, a city-wide struggle between The Corporation and their opposition (The Union) is recounted in exposition-heavy scenes.
Using familiar physical theatre tropes, Noah Young and Genevieve Dunne shift between the playing of three main and numerous supporting characters. Their performances yield a handful of interesting moments, with Dunne’s turn as an absurdly officious security official being a prime example.
Director Jonathan Young holds ambitions for a world of film noir glamour mixed with dystopian science fiction, but this atmosphere never catches on. This isn't helped by the explicit references to Brave New World, Blade Runner and Nineteen Eighty-Four and uneasy sections of direct address, which not only invite comparison to more fully realised visions of a dark future but risk drawing attention away from the world of the play itself.
C Too, 0845 260 1234, until 25 Aug (not 11), 6.35 pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£6.50–£8.50) .