Author: Ros MacKenzie

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Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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Arts

Level Up

What happens when the state decides that we can all be quantified? When number crunching data assigns us our place in society, and our role? When what we are predicted to do becomes as important as what we have done?

Full Breakfast Productions and New Celts Productions have taken these questions and spun them into a challenging one hour drama about love and bureaucracy.

Written by Lee Sutton and directed by Nigel Ashworth “Level Up” is a drama of ideas brought to us by students of Acting for Stage and Screen at Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret universities.

With minimal staging and background music by David Byrne (master of paranoia and surreal experience) this love story hits problems when the state, in the form of a curiously affable Citizen Hugo, (Rory Crawford) discovers that a newly engaged couple have a great discrepancy in their status, based on an elaborate bureaucratic points system.

Craig Smillie and Natalie Kelly are the thwarted lovers Jimmy and Natasha. Jimmy, far from bucking the system, responds by becoming part of the system. The enigmatic Natasha seems also curiously involved. Less Kafka, more Pandora’s box, we are left to ponder a dystopian future where artificial intelligence has replaced human freedom.

There’s a bit of a clunky awkwardness about the staging of this piece – maybe less movement around of tables and chairs is called for. Performances are sound, however, and the script is well written. Nice work from a local group.

***
Venue 39 The Space on the Mile. Radisson Hotel
Until August 24th

 

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