Reviewed – 21st August 2018
“promises to intrigue a fresh audience, present fundamental truths obscured by social media brainwashing and spark discussion”
To an older audience ‘RUSH’ is an affirmation of the frightening hold social media has on life nowadays, but for the young it is their actuality. Personality and human subtlety are being lost in an imposed multiple choice of reactions and perceptions as they race to display fun, beauty, happiness, success … no falling by the wayside with sadness, failure or confusion. Wrapped up in virtual identification, they lose contact with the reality around them. Writer/Director Tiwalade Ibirogba-Olulode, in a clever combination of irony and poignancy, uses her own issues with anxiety and depression to spotlight the effects of being brought up in the digital age.
The cast of five characters named Alex works in tight, well-coordinated formation to set a scene of hectic disarray and engage with the audience to recreate a distorted world of messages, comments, images and information, which seduces and ensnares the younger generation, in particular. The actors perform with relentless energy to project the intensely blinkered attitude of keeping up appearances and keeping up with friends. Each Alex inhabits a different state of mind, causing or caused by disorientation between the here-and-now and on-screen existence. These stories vary in clarity, adding a possibly unintended sense of perplexity to the play. Ruth Oyediran portrays some wonderful caricatures throughout the play but the significance of her troubled moment is not immediately obvious. The lost soul (Marie Williamson) is the easiest to follow, with a moving touch to her performance, and Jaden Baker’s amusing confusion with online dating is one of his several distinctive personalities. Georgia Sidell’s hidden passion comes as an uneasy surprise, in contrast to the surrounding larger-than-life smiles and laughter and a feeling of discomfort emanates as we watch Angelo Leal suffering in silence against a background of unawareness. Visually, the production is extremely captivating with original movement sequences (James Monckton), interesting use of the stage area and varied group interaction.
Certain parts of the work are better constructed and balanced than others, exposing scenes which fail to fall into the overall shape. With an engaging opening and a thoughtful summing up, the development of ideas feels more like a patchwork of expression. Easy to relate to, evident by last night’s largely young following, ‘RUSH’ promises to intrigue a fresh audience, present fundamental truths obscured by social media brainwashing and spark discussion.
Reviewed by Joanna Hetherington
The Space until 25th August