Blush

Charlotte Josephine

Snuff Box Theatre in association with Underbelly Untapped

Underbelly, Cowgate

From 04 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: ***

Review by Catherine Lamm

The Internet, with mobile 'phones following, has been a blessing and a curse for many. It is a wealth of information. Our ability to connect and keep contact with friends and strangers seems endless.

But it is also a tool for evil. Internet and mobile 'phone providers work endlessly to try to keep up with those who would use it for evil. We are amazed at times, when we hear of the distant uncle who has left millions or the new love or traveling friend trapped in foreign bureaucracy. Anonymous, distant. This is about money.

There are also the criminals who connect with the young and naïve. This is evil of a personal level. Then there is the most insidious, the hacking. This requires no conscious participation and can be endlessly destructive. The Internet has, over the last couple of years, provided an endless supply of dramatic material.

Blush addresses some of the pitfalls of what might be described as the visual, even pornographic variety. Two actors portray several different characters who have all been affected negatively. One of the main story lines tells of a young sister who has posted naked pictures of herself online which are irretrievable and have gone viral. Her reaction; “there’s nothing I can do about it”, while her older sister wants someone arrested. The “criminals” seem always to be one step ahead of the law. “Someone has to pay.” "She just needs to understand that it is not her fault. That she is not to blame. That she is not a slut."

Victims seem surprised when their lapses show up all over the Internet, messages or pictures only meant for the friend they are sent to. Or when a stranger recognizes them. There is cyber bullying. Or pornography which is not anonymous or victimless.

The actors, Charlotte Josephine and Daniel Foxsmith, are adept at these monologues and the script provides clear characters. It is fluid, seamless high energy. The direction by Ed Stambollouian is focused and makes the most of the actors, the space and the production values.

But the playwright, Charlotte Josephine, does not tie any of these stories together; they don’t seem to be related in any concrete dramatic form.