I love the theatre, I always have. I love the idea of sitting in the dark watching a story unfold before my eyes on the stage.
This love of live plays and musicals stems from my time in high school, where I got opportunities to get up on stage myself in a couple school productions, though I never got any big parts.
One of the things London is known for around the world is it’s West End, where many productions (both big and small) come to make their mark. I’ve seen a few shows over the years, but it hasn’t been as frequent as I’d like.
Well Friday night I got a last minute invitation from my Italian chaser ‘friend’ (I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re just friends with benefits.. I think). He was given a couple free tickets to a play at the Duke of York Theatre, and he needed someone to join him.
Basically, I think I just got lucky. He was looking around to find someone to join him just as I’d messaged asking how his weekend was going. I’m guessing he’d asked others first (I didn’t ask really..), but who cares – it was a free ticket to a play and I hadn’t been to the theatre in a very long time.
Ok yeah.. I had the extra benefit of spending some time with him, even if it was just a night at the theatre. Double win I suppose. LOL
The play itself is called ‘The Nether’, and I’d never heard of it before last night. Here’s the official description from the website:
The Nether offers complete freedom – a new virtual wonderland providing total sensory immersion. Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire.
An intricate crime drama and a haunting thriller set in the year 2050, The Nether follows an investigation into the complicated, disturbing morality of identity in the digital world, and explores the consequences of making dreams a reality.
Obviously I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone gets a chance to see it – and I do recommend going if you can – but this play definitely makes you think about the complexities of where our virtual and online lives are going in the future, and how that could raise ideas of morality from our actions.
Basically in this play, there’s a virtual world called ‘The Nether’ where you can log in to be anybody you want to be, and to do anything you like. The play surrounds itself around how actions in the virtual world could affect real life, and whether certain actions there could be considered immoral in the real world.
Visually, the play seemingly looks quite basic and stark at first – just a simple looking table with two chairs in the middle of the stage with a dark backdrop. But then once it gets started, there are a variety of virtual images projected against the backdrop, some of which look like live feeds of the action on the stage.
Then just when you think this is all the play is going to give you visually, they cut to a scene in the virtual world.. which is played out inside the backdrop wall – a screen lifts and there’s a stage within the wall itself set above the table on the stage. This allows the play to portray two contrasting worlds within the same space, and was done exceptionally well.
All in all, I found the play to be engaging, albeit somewhat short (just over an hour in total), and disturbingly thought provoking. It’s well acted, well presented, and overall an excellent production.
If you get a chance to see this Olivier Award nominated production (Best New Play) before it closes later this month, or if it comes to a theatre near you, I highly recommend going to see it.
‘The Nether’ runs until April 25th 2015 at The Duke of York Theatre, London. For tickets or show times, go to http://thenethertheplay.co.uk for more details.