Thursday, October 6

Work.txt – Soho Theatre

An audience, mostly of whom are 9 to 5, maybe some are freelance, of mothers and fathers, of Pisces and Gemini’s, of people who hate their bosses and those who earn more than 30,000 a year have all bought tickets to an immersive show. There are no actors, just a stage manager but they are just clicking a button.  We decide if we speak and we listen to those who do, we talk what is written and together we build a city.

I was unsure where this play might take me. It’s a Wednesday night and I’m not that up to getting involved so I sit down on the front row with slight anxiety and my mask pulled up very high. I notice the subtle sound of ‘The Sims’ theme music playing, a horrible memory of my Covid pass-time activities. At this point, I’m flustered.

As the lights dim, the projector intensifies and invites us to speak. We are the actors, if we want to be.

I think something valuable to remember with immersive shows is the ability of choice. As time moves forward, we understand the main driving force, choice seems to be the point. What we choose to do with our time, our short amount of time in life and the privilege to have time- time off.

We follow a story of someone who chooses to stop and how the protest of this small movement can blow up and inspire but just as quickly die out. It’s seen as art or as a meme but simply someone, one day decides they’ve have enough.

But in reality, when that happens, how do we react- do we even react? I know for me, speaking about other people makes for juicy gossip in the 5-minute break I talk with my colleagues and ponder whether I should do the same as them when I’m back working.

Photo: Emily Davis

I left this room happier than I walked in, inspired and full of thought. I left believing that choosing happiness in my life was important and thanked myself for following my passion. But I wonder how many left feeling the opposite, with the need to change.

This performance makes you question the city we built, initially with the purpose to bring safety and freedom to live but we have entrapped ourselves into a system only few possibly benefit from. We built the city, yet we haven’t the power to change it? Why?

We worked together throughout this whole piece and yet at the point where our main player has had enough, we continue and move on like it never happened to do what? Go back to jobs we hate, with bosses we hate and spending our days off making lists of all the things we want to do when we have ‘proper days off’.

I forgot how unsocial I’ve become, that I actually don’t hate immersive shows I just hate the thought of talking to strangers. So, I actually think this show has changed my mind on a lot of things starting with this.

I no longer hate immersive shows.

And if you think you do hate immersive shows, you should really go watch this show. Playing until the 12th March, https://sohotheatre.com/shows/work-txt/

Reviewer: Alice Rose

Reviewed: 2nd March 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★

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