Sunday, 21 February 2021

REVIEW: Ain’t No Female Romeo at the Living Record Festival

This is my second review of a show from the amazing Living Record Festival, a celebration of digital art taking place between the 17th January to 22nd February. The festival takes place digitally to provide access to theatre for everyone world-wide, with a platform of over 40 independent artists and theatre companies from across the world streamed for you to enjoy at the click of a button.

Today was ‘Ain’t No Female Romeo’ a digital art journey by Lita Doolan Productions. Through the self-documented video entries, we see that the main character is on a journey via the means of social media (Instagram) to either find or connect with this person called ‘Peter’. The online pursuit takes the leading lady across the world to find some poster in a subversion of the classic tale of Romeo & Juliet.

From the offset, the piece has a frantic like tendency, with the quick changes of self-tape monologues to cryptic text messages. These short burst videos of seemingly random videos demonstrates both the fragility of the main woman and also gives an insight into the sporadic nature she is going through to find this virtual lover. Also, the way that the videos are edited and portrayed gives the impression of someone who is completely new to Instagram, where they post everything and anything, which can be interpreted as a naive beauty but I found after 10 minutes it became slightly irritating.

The filming of the spoken word sections are set like the cinematography of the film ‘The Blair Witch Project’. These moments are taking in the selfie fashion, with its extremely close-ups of the face, as she directly speaks into the camera giving an authentic and exposing feel to connect with the camera and the person behind it, being either ‘Peter’ or myself watching. I enjoyed these moments the most out of the piece but sometimes found myself disconnecting, due to the feeling that looked like she was reading the script off a page behind the camera, therefore losing the raw emotion in the poetry and also making the piece 2D.

The obsession with the ‘Peter’ figure edges towards creepy and shows a wider view of the compulsive nature we, as humans, have to connect virtually with people we have never met in real life. This augmented reality in ‘Ain’t No Female Romeo’ is a sad representation of the society we live in nowadays, with the craves for likes and attention, and this woman bares her innermost love for someone that may not even notice her. For me, the production felt slightly unpolished and somewhat confusing, and it didn’t quite reach its potential.

Review by Corey Mitchell

Rating: ★★ 

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £5.00

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