Inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Demons’ and David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’, this hour-long production by the Nottingham New Theatre follows two characters: Katherine (Ace Edwards) and Nikolai (Charlie Catmur) as they explore and discuss deeply emotional and personal ideas.
Credit must first go to writer and co-director Oliver O’Reagan for his work tying themes from both ‘Demons’ and ‘Infinite Jest’ together into natural, beautifully written conversations between Katherine, Nikolai and the mysterious Doctor/Tikon (a psychiatrist and a monk respectively, both played by Danial Ahmer). O’Reagan and co-director and producer Beth White have managed explore highly personal and sensitive themes of depression and addiction in a way that made you feel like you were in the room with the characters.
The play was filmed in black and white, a brave choice that paid off – I found it made the already moving dialogue even more emotive. The stylistic choice of filming each actor separately also worked well. Video editors Barney Hartwill, Ellie Harding and Jesse Rough managed to overlay voices and cut between footage of each actor in a way that made this feel like one of the most natural pieces of online theatre I’ve seen. The use of sound throughout was also well thought out, especially in the original piano music by Raphael Chenais which was a lovely touch.
O’Reagan and co-director and producer Beth White have managed explore highly personal and sensitive themes of depression and addiction in a way that made you feel like you were in the room with the characters
All three actors should also be highly praised for their work in both interacting with each other and performing often long monologues, a task that must have been made much harder by not being in the same room! I was very moved by all three of them and felt their frustrations as they communicated their characters’ deeply complex range of emotions. As previously stated, I felt attached to the characters and like I was there in the room, focused on whoever was speaking.
I would also like to credit the rest of the creative team: creative assistant Holly West, Captioner Cecilia Alexander (as someone who currently has an ear infection – very helpful, thank you!) and publicity assistant Abie Whitehead. It is clear a lot of work has gone into making this piece of theatre as striking as it is and bringing the whole production together. I’ve been following the social media for this show for the past few weeks and the black and white graphics tie in beautifully with the titles and aesthetics of the show.
I felt attached to the characters and like I was there in the room, focused on whoever was speaking
Digital theatre is a tricky thing to pull off, and this show makes that look easy. Check it out on the Nottingham New Theatre’s YouTube channel.
Featured image courtesy of Nottingham New Theatre. No changes made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @whatcouldbeworsethanjumping via instagram.com. No changes made to these images.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.
If you can’t get enough of Impact Reviews, like our Facebook page for updates on our new articles.