Edinburgh Fringe 2011
A comical, modern love story, told entirely through a Facebook wall-to-wall. Utterly cringeworthy and brilliant.
Misshapen Theatre’s 30 minute show, based, rather worryingly, on a true story, is written by Jonathan Brittain and directed by Brittain and Ant Cule. Also known as ‘The Facebook Play’, it tells the story of the relationship – from inception to crushing collapse – between two young university students, exclusively via the medium of their Facebook wall-to-wall.
Glued nervously to their laptops, divided by a central screen – onto which is projected notifications: ‘Phillipa and Will are now in a relationship’ (‘Phillipa and Will like this’), etc. – the pair narrate verbatim the entirety of their online communication. We are privy to the ups and downs of their relationship, the sickly, lovey-dovey, personal language they develop (‘I need a Willuggle!’), the jealousy, the quarrels, the deadly silences. It’s spoken exactly as it’s typed. (‘Have to switch PCs, this keyboad is boken,’ Phillipa announces.) The dialogue is comically punctuated with LOLs, ROFLs, sadfaces, winks and ‘grrr’s, and Philippa roars uppercase text at us, while pokes can be anything from attention-seeking banter to a sheepish apology.
This imaginative little playlet is cute, novel and heaps of fun. Alice White as the overbearing and permanently over-excited Phillipa, who can make the question ‘why am I no longer in your profile picture?’ ball-shrivellingly frightening, and Jack Swain as geeky boyfriend Will give brilliant tongue-in-cheek performances as the enthusiastic, clueless young couple, bawling ‘I LOOOOOOOVE YOOOOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!’ at each other over and over (and over and over) again.
If you’ve ever sat with your heart in your mouth, waiting for that little red notification from your beloved, you’ll laugh in cringing recognition at this innovative and hilarious portrait of love – or mild obsession – in the age of Facebook.