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BWW Review: ANNA X, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: ANNA X, VAULT FestivalBWW Review: ANNA X, VAULT Festival

Anna (Rosie Sheehy) is a Russian art lover who dreams of being the curator of her own gallery. Ariel (Joshua James) is the CEO of an exclusive dating app. But are they really who they pretend to be? What's the price of keeping up appearances in a world of million-dollar views and ruthless socialites?

Joseph Charlton's new piece Anna X premieres at VAULT Festival directed by Daniel Raggett, who turns the show into a high-tech production weaving projections and light changes to set up and forward the narrative. Charlton writes a universe of Instagram fame, deception, and privilege and builds a relationship based on these elements.

Sheehy and James play with identity and confidence and keep stable standards of deliveries through the playwright's jumps in time and location. The modern-day context of the plot is essential to its landing and the visual experimentation carried out by the creative team has a major role in its success.

Mikaela Liakata curates the video design and by adding a grid of sorts to most images that take over the back wall has the actors almost look like digital products of themselves at times. Mike Winship creates an ever-present soundscape that veers from club music that smothers them to simple pings that allude that spoken words are actually text messages.

Anna X becomes a show about social media culture and the lengths people are willing to go to achieve a certain, mostly unattainable lifestyle. It presents the chilling nature of the newborn aspirations and yearnings of those generations brought up in a society ruled by appearance and status.

"We crave elitism" Ariel says while pitching the idea for his project. And, in the current state of the world, it rings true.

Anna X runs at VAULT Festival until 17 March.


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From This Author Cindy Marcolina