Blue Elephant Theatre
Reviewed – 21st November 2018
“Although immensely entertaining to watch, it proves the darker elements to social media”
Swipe left. Tweet. Post. Comment. Like. Swipe right. Ping! A notification. Crying face emoji. What once would have sounded like alien jargon has now become the vocabulary of our modern world. Particularly for the Millennial generation. More and more of the Millennial’s time is being spent online or documenting their lives to look perfect to the outside world. ELLA&CO. latch onto this, creating a movement piece that unpacks some of the bizarre behaviours social media brings out, as well as exploring how the pressures of perfectionism is affecting our mental health. Highly relevant and eye-opening, #NOFILTER lays bear our online personas to assess and examine.
Scenes come and go, leaving the brain in a buzzing frenzy, due to the rate in which new information and pictures are thrown at us. ELLA&CO. cleverly depicts the instant, ‘I want it now’, restless lifestyles social media brings out in us. Even a meaningful moment with the death of a loved one is turned into a post, hoping for likes. A standout scene is when a peaceful yoga session becomes a fight for the best hashtag about the class. Although immensely entertaining to watch, it proves the darker elements to social media – how anything we do, even for leisure or down time, becomes competitive. Striving to be accepted by our peers.
The side effects of the virtual world are touched upon but could certainly be used more effectively. It is welcoming that ELLA&CO. aren’t heavy handed in pointing the finger, saying, ‘this is bad’ or ‘this will happen if you use social media too much’, they gently offer a mirror up to the world we live in and let us, the audience, see in live performance the often ludicrous nature of the social media beast. They allow us to come to our own conclusions and question our online actions. However, with all this being said, some more obvious indicators to the the potential anxiety/psychological issues caused by social media could be helpful. Especially as the company are looking at taking the show into schools.
With just a simple empty black box stage, the four female cast members of ELLA&CO. rely on intense sound and lighting sequences, as well as themselves and their movements, to bring the performance space to hyperactive life.
It cannot be denied that #NOFILTER is an entertaining and on point representation of the millennial lifestyle, but still has a subtle, deeper message that lies underneath. #Nailedit
Reviewed by Phoebe Cole
Blue Elephant Theatre
Previously reviewed at this venue: