Thursday, 28 January 2021

REVIEW: Broken Link for the Living Record Festival Online

Broken Link is one of many pieces on offer as part of The Living Record Festival an online showcase of comedy, plays, films, immersive theatre and much more, all available to stream online. 

In a year where relationships went more digital than ever, the show takes us into a live video chat between 4 friends as they catch up on the anniversary of Ellie’s suicide. 

It starts slow and frankly a little awkward as we watch each character join the chat. Before we know it a fifth, anonymous person joins the chat and simply begins messaging via the chat. The friends are obviously rattled and as the drama unfolds the friends test the unknown participate in a bid to identify them. 

Is it Ellie herself or is this someone playing a cruel joke? 

The group quickly assume that this is indeed Ellie, back from the dead. Numerous truths are revealed although none of them are particularly shocking or thrilling. I wanted to feel uncomfortable and shocked but alas. In particular, Luke’s revelation should rattle the viewer but in this case, it just left me unconvinced and with questions. For a story of grief that should contain so much emotion, this piece unfortunately lacks just that which is the shows biggest downfall. 

The immersive piece offers an option to scan a QR code on a mobile enabling you to have access to messages between Ellie and the rest of the group. I started by watching with this element but after about 10 minutes I found myself distracted between my phone and the main recording so reluctantly, I turned it off.

This is a brilliant concept that has a striking resemblance to shows like Pretty Little Liars and all the potential that comes with it. It feels condensed I couldn’t help but think an episode format would have allowed the audience to get to know the characters so the bombshells carried more weight. 

Broken Living won’t leave you shocked or thrilled but it might just entice you to look for other available immersive experiences that offer a more finessed production. 

Review by Alyssa Tuck

Rating: ★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £7
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