Raw Alchemy Theatre Company
theSpace on the Mile
Chatroom is about an online site for young people to interact with each other and talk about their problems.
Some of the participants are at the ready with advice and others don’t give advice; they are just there to listen. Each has their own set of problems; cutting, anorexia, divorces, abandonment, bullying. Some are looking for advice and some are looking for solace and confirmation. Some are transient and minimal and some are needing much more than can be offered on this site.
We get snippets of stories that vary in their urgency; they treat each other with varying degrees of sympathy and distain. But when Jim joins in and proves he is in a state of “what’s the purpose”, he gets input from both camps. But Raw Alchemy poses the problem of trusting the online written word from people he doesn’t know.
This is Enda Walsh territory with a teen’s voice; the dilemma exposed through rapid-fire dialogue in an almost Brechtian fashion. Some of the directorial choices work against interpretation. The performers capably use the dialogue and space, but it is a production that makes the audience work too hard for what should be delicate material.
Reviewer: Catherine Lamm