Lead Assistant Designer + Animator
Gareth Damian Martin
Almeida Theatre, March 2014
In a housing crisis, a young couple are offered a home of their own. But at what price?
The world premiere of this provocative new play by Mike Bartlett invites us to spy on a family as they embark upon a dangerous new way to live.
Game audiences will see the Almeida auditorium radically transformed in a production that offers an unnervingly intimate viewing experience.
This production reunites writer Mike Bartlett (Earthquakes in London, Cock,King Charles III) with acclaimed director-designer duo Sacha Wares and Miriam Buether (Wild Swans, Sucker Punch, My Child, generations).
‘it’s a technical masterpiece of overlapping performance and pre-recording, blended with quirky retro-HUD graphics and spot-on dystopian idents.’
'Sacha Wares’s production, Miriam Buether’s set and Leo Warner’s video design display immense skill in synchronising all the play’s ingredients. Jodie McNee and Mike Noble also capture the pathos of a young couple whose instinctual love and affection is turned into mercenary target practice, and Kevin Harvey as the warden in charge of the shooting effectively reveals a growing social conscience. It is all done with fiendish cleverness.'
‘The concept is sick, simple, brilliant. The execution is all-important, and it’s handled here with exemplary finesse by the director and design team of Sacha Wares and Miriam Buether. The Almeida auditorium has been drastically remodelled: the audience, parcelled into four groups of spectators, take their pews in dark, camouflage-draped “hides”, viewing the action via TV monitors with direct sight into the mocked-up, two-floor living space also granted by rising and falling shutters. Headphones relay voice-simulated instructions and live-feed dialogue.'
‘Aided by Leo Warner’s compelling video, and good work by a cast led by Mike Noble’s Ashley, Jodie McNee’s Carly and Kevin Harvey’s warden, the company create a fearsome vision of the future that is also an acute comment on the present. Their aim is good, and they hit the right targets.’
'Game simmers and stews on many levels: it’s about the housing crisis, but it’s also about class war, about the growing unkindness in our society, about reality TV and about how all these things form a vicious circle feeding into each other. '
'An ingeniously executed evening... it will stay in the mind as an extreme vision whose most unnerving message (not a new one) is that computer games could encourage the seeing of people as cyphers and of death as a sport.'