Press | Public Domain @ Southwark Playhouse*

Production photos by: The Other Richard

Continuing with their series of live streaming musicals direct from the venue, this weekend, the Southwark Playhouse played host to a new verbatim musical by the duo Forristal and Clarke. Public Domain explores what it means to be a public figure on the internet through the use of real interviews, tweets, Instagram posts and YouTube videos. On the back drop of this, we see real segments from and about the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

This bold and adventurous musical is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Right off the bat, the audience is transported into this world of the internet the duo have created through an electronic and pop infused score. This instantly sets this musical apart from most, giving itself this unique nature. I also felt that the score helped emphasis the tone of the show being about the internet and how we are all connected through electronic devices. This is further emphasised by the excellent box set design by Libby Todd, showing how our spaces on the internet often feel like our own little box world.

The songs are super clever, personal highlights for me were how the duo managed to musicalise former Facebook moderators explaining their jobs, the world of TikTok and tips on how to be an authentic influencer. With the third song, there was a really excellent parallel where the two YouTube influencers that Forristal and Clarke play is overlapped with Mark Zuckerberg in Congress explaining Facebook’s privacy laws. For me, this just really highlighted just how easy it can be for social media to make public figures out of people, whether they are reaching strangers on the internet or they are stood in front of government trying to convince them that their privacy laws are in tact. I thought this was incredibly fascinating and is sure to make people question their relationship with social media.

The performances from Francesca Forristal and Jordan Paul Clarke were fantastic, they were incredibly excellent in their portrayals of many, many characters throughout, transitioning seamlessly between them. I have to commend just how incredibly well this live stream was. Throughout the piece, there is a lot of visual effects that overlay the performances and gives the show that extra layer. What was particularly impressive was how well the effects remained in sync with what was happening in the theatre.

Overall, I thought this was such a fantastic new musical. There’s an opportunity to catch the live stream at 7:30 tonight (16/01). However, the Southwark Playhouse will be streaming the production on demand from the 19th to 24th January, so you have plenty of time to catch it. For more information please visit https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/public-domain/.

Until next time,

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