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Review of Flash Festival: Pinch Theatre Company - Dystopia at the Looking Glass Theatre

Dystopia from Pinch Theatre presents a funny, sad and disturbingly realistic tale of modern life and its reliance on technology and more importantly social media. Throughout this busy piece all the suspect areas of the online world are generally attacked. We have a humourous argument between Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We also have the sad tale of a woman effectively addicted to online dating and most importantly the one of choice Tinder.

It is all very realistic and believable, and generally attacking of the online world. A place I have actually always defended myself simply because to take the old adage, you cannot blame the tools, just the idiots that use them. There is some lovely hope offered though with the developing tale of the lady (touchingly played by Rachel Sherborn) who is only brave enough to communicate via online and the final delightful payoff.

However the opposite payoff comes with, who in my notes for the review I simply called "Sinister Skinner". In his scenes in his (probably bedroom), Sam Skinner, who is the only gentlemen of the group, plays what is a truly disturbing character. The role is generally played for laughs, however it builds into another payoff with our opening character that is tough to watch and excellently performed by Sophie Poyntz-Lloyd. Completing the quartet of performers is the wonderful Zoe Davey, who has some wonderfully performed scenes at her laptop.

While there are some wonderful scenes during the show, it did feel a little disjointed at times and not flowing. This was a little obvious on occasion as there were so many short scenes. I think that there were also a few tech issues on this first performance which will no doubt be ironed out for future performances. Also I felt the music was too loud during the Tinder selection scene and drowned out much of the dialogue, certainly from my third row seat anyway.

However, it was a vivid and often disturbing take on modern life with excellent performances from the four players. Also a special mention for the wonderfully clever programme. I wish them the best of luck when they take the show down to the Bedford Fringe on 24th July.


The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

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