Anomaly Theatre Company
the Space on North Bridge – until August 24th
2 Stars (2 / 5)

Big Brother is such a shocking and oft-discussed topic that it is easy and comfortable to forget it is not just an imaginary dystopia. Surveillance is divided into three short stories with one link connecting them: The death of privacy.

Jackman writes a witty and funny script that raises questions around the morality of collecting internet users’ data that can be so easily tracked and abused. It stresses the responsibility of every one of us for exposing ourselves on social media and the duality of our behaviour on and offline. Once shared, it is never deleted and we have to face consequences of, in the best case, being manipulated to buy certain products. In the worst case, we can be completely controlled and forced to change our behaviour and thinking. It’s amazing how much can be told, how much doubt cast in 50 minutes with minimum props on a small black box stage. 

It’s a pity that the quality of acting was not up to the quality of the text. This was emphasised by differences among individual actors. Herman for example seemed physically unable to look directly at other actors so he ended up with a tilted head, poked out chin and awkward look while remaining in affected pose trying to look confident. On the other hand, he brought a lot of energy on stage that nicely balanced Jackman’s stillness in the third story. It was very exciting to observe them advocating their characters point of views in a perfectly timed ping-pong like monologue. 

Surveillance passes on a concerning message… funny, yet scary.