Breakfast Plays: Tech Will Tear Us Apart (?): How to Ruin Someone’s Life from the Comfort of your Own Beanbag

Tim Price and Darren Davidson

Traverse Theatre Company

Traverse Theatre

From 16 August 2016 to 25 August 2016

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

Over the years, the Traverse Breakfast Plays have generated some of the best experiences of the Fringe.

The opening play in the 2016 programme is a gem, fit to live with the very best that a city boasting 3,000 shows has to offer.

How to Ruin Someone’s Life from the Comfort of your Own Beanbag is written as a PowerPoint lecture delivered by Christian Ortega as co-writer Darren Davidson.

He was a hacker par excellence and in “approximately 38 minutes” lets viewers in on some trade secrets that should be ripe for laughs but will leave most rushing home to change user names, passwords and anonymise their online lives.

This poacher turned gamekeeper is now a penetration tester fighting his former associates in the shady mists of the World Wide Web.

While we might be amused to learn of his ability to get into large corporations and even improve security in the NHS, this lecture soon gets much closer to home.

In a coup de grace, when Davidson was offended by a mouthy American golfer on an innocuous web site, he zeroed in, learning everything about the other kind of hacker and eventually killing him (online-wise), literally terminating his driving licence, passport and pension rights.

There is so much food for thought in this delicious breakfast offering that someone should ensure that it is spread more widely, presumably on the Internet.