BWW Review: FEED, VAULT Festival
Presented by physical theatre company Theatre Témoin, Feed takes a look at a world of algorithms, click-bait, targeted ads, and fake news.
A viral article, accidental YouTube challenges, and the complicated yet absurdly rewarding relationship with the cyberspace are pictured here with dark humour and the vicious attitude of a sadistic internet troll.
Director Ailin Conant toys with the audience, turning them into incidental witnesses and accomplices in what could essentially be a live episode of Black Mirror. The universe introduced by the company is one of addiction to fame and online relevance, where what really matters is the number of clicks and volume of traffic.
The result is unsettling. Jonathan Peck drives the action as the SEO specialist turned troll; the other characters are puppets in his hands, he knows what crowds and viewers like and when personal interest and vengeance come into play, he prevails on their wellbeing.
A sense of oneirism permeates the whole piece. The dark comedy is fascinating in its execution: from Helen Coyston's grey set that establishes a system dominated by analytics to the directorial gimmicks employed to deliver the reactions of choice, the endorsed storyline is steered a certain way.
An acutely clever show, Feed draws a slanted approach to the overworked cautionary tale on the perils of the modern world. It provides a good amount of food of thought accompanying with plenty of spunk and putting the audience in front of the ugly truth of capitalism.