Review: Clickbait

The Red Chair Players
C, Chambers Street – until August 15th
2 Stars (2 / 5)

Clickbait begins with a TED-styled introduction on the psychology of internet advertising and how annoying headlines like “25 photos that will restore your faith in humanity,” or “7 things you never knew about Emma Watson,” lead us click by click down the rabbit-hole of perpetual attention, all the while delivering our freshly-mined data to companies who can sell it. This content, interesting in itself, desperately calls out for a more natural and less laboured delivery (perhaps a quick TED talk on giving a dynamic presentation.)

The piece is well structured. When it begins it looks like a sketch show, but all the strands soon sewn together. Clickbait tells the story of some students who want to make it viral on the internet to serve some cause… any cause” They find the perfect opportunity when they meet a classmate who suffers from a chronic illness and start a crowd funding campaign to pay for her medical procedure, but their motives are less than philanthropic. It takes some time to kick in and the second half is better than the first half.

The characters are not well formed, and the performances lack spontaneity and impulse. Only one character, a shoe and make-up obsessed blonde v-logging narcissist really does much with her role. That said there are a couple of stand out moments – arguments between the sisters Kylie and Sophie, and the reveal that most users out there in internet land don’t really care about causes, they just want to feel warm feelings – like they’re doing something.

Without a bit of a make-over and some SEO optimisation Clickbait is unlikely to be trending.