Override – Project Arts Centre – Tiger Dublin Fringe Review


Override – Project Arts Centre – Tiger Dublin Fringe Review by M. Tynan

White Label – Written by Stacey Gregg / Directed by Sophie Motley
Previews Sep 9 – 10 @ 18:15 – Tickets €11
Dates Sep 11 – 17 @ 18:15 / Sep 14 @ 13:30 – Tickets €16 / €14 conc.
Duration 75 mins – Venue: – Project Arts Centre Space Upstairs

Violet and Mark have rejected the world of technology. They were involved in the Anti-tech movement and have now moved to live in isolation in a small house away from the rest of society. The only time they see their neighbours is when they are out for long walks in the woods. They are awaiting the birth of their first child. It is a joyous time where it seems the couple could not be happier. They live a simple life, growing plants out of pots in their small garden and knitting. It is all calmly ordered.  That is until Violet’s secret is revealed and we learn she has been medically enhanced without her knowledge. When she was a young child, her mother made some small alterations to her. Can she still be considered 100% human? This plants a seed of doubt which threatens to destroy their perfect union.

This play is set in a future world not too distant from our own. We are reminded of this fact as we enter the theatre, and see the short films and adverts projected onto a screen high above the front of the stage. These are for robotic arms that are controlled by the mind, genetic DNA testing and hyper realistic sex dolls. These are not from some futuristic world, but instead are from the world of today. These are blended with adverts for robotic arms and eyes which are beyond our technology and are purely the work of science fiction. There is a sense of modern society being on the cusp of a new world of technology.

The set gives the impression of a modern domestic space, with a large bay window, bed and shelving units.  The actors integrate with this space, moving effortlessly around it. However the action can also be viewed on the screen throughout the performance which gives an alternative means of observing from an unlikely view point.  The two actors on stage have to create all the drama, which is done through a series of conversations and arguments, that sometimes erupt out of control.

It’s a play that asks questions on what it means to be human. Is it ok to replace a worn out hip or a faulty heart valve? What about replacing a failing kidney with something mechanical in origin? At what point do we say it is no longer acceptable. When does a human become something else, in their search for longevity and the perfect life? Gregg asks the question without taking a side, forcing the viewer to consider their own prejudices.

The ending, when it arrives feels a little abrupt. More ground could easily have been covered, but maybe it is best not to over stay your welcome. The topic is a fascinating one and Stacey Gregg’s reputation as a writer continues to grow. It’s a play that will leave you questioning what it means to be human.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.