Disconnected – New Theatre – Review
Disconnected – ILA Productions in association with The New Theatre
21st January – 2nd February @ 7:30pm
Cassie has been reunited with Emma after a long time. The two are cousins and grew up together but have drifted apart in later life. Cassie is not the coolest kid on the block and doesn’t have a phone, let alone a few thousand followers on social media. Now Emma has decided she will do everything in her power to get Cassie back to the top of the social stratum. Emma has a hard job ahead of her, but she is pulling out all the stops and tonight’s birthday party is the perfect moment to relaunch her onto an unknowing public!
This is a new play by ILA productions, which is written by and stars Ali Hardiman, who previously wrote Electric which ran at Theatre Upstairs last year. This play was originally developed as part of the Scene and Heard Festival last year. It is a comedy and it focuses on our obsession with social media. There are five actors in the production, playing a group of school friends whose lives are dominated by their phones and the perfect image they portray of themselves to the world, while the reality is quite different.
The stage is a symphony in pink! There are bean bags and a tinsel curtain for a backdrop that helps create the saccharine world of the protagonists. There are two main locations, a bedroom and the birthday party and the setting works easily enough for both with minimal alterations.
The cast put great energy into the production and there are a number of impressive dance scenes that are well coordinated. The play starts with the image of Emma as the perfect teen and then spends the rest of its time slowly breaking down the walls.
The production wears its influences on its sleeve, with touches of films such as Clueless and Zoolander. The emphasis on social media is relatively original though and it does illustrate the disconnect with reality of the title. We see the world through the eyes of a typical millennial and it is not a pretty place, with the focus on creating a vision of a perfect world and not much concern on the effects it has on mental health. While the play never hits any particular heights, this is a light comedy with its heart in the right place.
Written by Ali Hardiman
Directed by Olivia Songer
Cast: Ali Hardiman, Madi O’Carroll, Sarah Foley, Fiona Frawley and Gordon Quigley
Sound Design by Sam Hardiman
Lighting Design by Shane Gill
Set Design by Jack Scullion
Dramaturgy by Pamela McQueen