Nottingham New Theatre
Although childhood friends Cassie (Tara Phillips) and Sam (Georgia Barnwell) have moved on to university, they continue to communicate via video calls. During one such call, Sam is startled when Cassie comes out as bisexual and offends her friend by sharing the news with their wider social circle. Sam makes amends when Cassie is assaulted by offering support while some of their other friends are not as sympathetic and feel Cassie’s behaviour and sexuality may have contributed to the attack.
Misorientation by writer / director Alice Walker may be intended for a young audience to provoke after-show debate in the classroom. As a result, opposing viewpoints on topics such as sexual assault, victim blaming and homophobia are spelt out in a simple, clear and, one might say, obvious, style.
The characters do not converse so much as articulate opinions. The emphasis on making small ‘p’ political statements overrides any drama so the characters behave in a contrived, rather than realistic, manner.
There is no doubt the issues explored in Misorientation are important but the lack of subtlety in how they are explored makes for an unsatisfactory drama.
Reviewer: David Cunningham