Brighton Fringe 2015
A dystopian story that borrows strongly from George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Though occasionally lacking in depth, 2095: A Mind Odyssey is an enjoyable way to spend an evening.
2095: A Mind Odyssey explores how we may use neuro-technology in 2095, based on research available in the current day. The show presents this story by exploring the friendship of two girls, one of whom has chosen to voluntarily take part in an alignment programme created by ‘The Ruling Authority’ and one of whom is resistant.
The story doesn’t feel entirely dissimilar, borrowing strongly from famous dystopian writing. Although there are five characters in the play, the story primarily focusses on the dissenter, and some of the other characters feel under-developed as a result. That said, Kizzy Kaye and Jack Kristiansen in particular provide strong performances as Zoey 7352 and Boreman 2419 to hold the attention of the audience. There was little subtext as the message of the play was loud and clear – very relevant in the current political climate, but in Brighton in particular, it risked preaching to the choir.
The venue is the photography studio at The Werks, meaning that the stage is a white box with minimal props. Lighting and sound changes are the main tools to change the dynamic of each scene. The company state in their programme that they aim to ‘the greatest possible effect from the least possible means’, but some of the changes feel clumsy and the sound and lighting states do not provide enough suggestion to take the audience to the dark places suggested in the script.
The show held my interest from start to finish, but as someone with an interest in dystopian writing and futurism I felt like I had heard much of the script before. This can however be contrasted this with my friend, who stated that she enjoyed it as an introduction to the concepts, and that it had encouraged her to think about the future.
Overall, this is an entertaining introduction to the genre. Although it occasionally lacks depth, the story is strong enough to hold attention and is recommended as an introduction to the genre. Audience members more experienced in this area may not gain a great deal, but it’s still an enjoyable way to spend an hour and ten minutes.