Trolling (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


Unsettling play exploring online identity

Some of the darker aspects of the internet are explored in this intelligent two-person thriller – the consequences of anonymity, the detailed digital trail we each leave behind and hungry trolls. The play is set entirely in a flat, where a man with certain technological skills lives in the glow of his computer screen. His hobbies include online backgammon and manipulating people's emotions under the disguise of a variety of names and accounts. Usually avoiding human contact, he meets a woman wanting to go completely off grid.

Trolling is not a straight-forward narrative. Time isn't linear and conflicting information causes the woman's identity to shift throughout the piece, making the pair's relationship complex, though not always convincing. The woman also plays the two other characters who enter the flat, reflecting the multiple personae we can assume and the blurred lines between reality and fiction in an online space.

The backdrop to the stage is a permanent projection of a computer screen. It shows us cleverly staged camera footage of the flat's other rooms, typed internet searches and forums. Set to pulsating music, the mashup of shots create a tense and unsettling atmosphere in an unnerving play that explores the human impulse to hunt and the dire consequences that can result from actions online.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug (not 17 & 24), 2.15pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).


  • 3 stars

Seabright Productions A mysterious young woman with a dark secret asks an internet-addicted loner to help her disappear off-grid for a year. Written by and starring Rob Crouch (Oliver Reed: Wild Thing). Director: Fringe First winner Hannah Eidinow.