In Theatre Ad Infinitum’s production Light they explore the increasingly discussed and frightening idea of utter society control and surveillance. Inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations that secret services violate our privacy for the greater good, George Mann felt urgent to create this play where control is also initially exerted to increase security with the dream of making the world a better place.
It quickly escalates into something of a technological dictatorship in this advanced world where everyone has implants that allow thought control, and surveillance of thoughts, dreams and memories. It is easy to imagine that, if we already live in a capitalistic world where people look to means to reach their ends – your money – were these people able to reach your thoughts, they would be on the ultimate race to power and wouldn’t even look back. So-called security would come at a much higher price.
The delivery of this story is done in a very creative way in terms of light and sound. The collaboration between sound designer and composer Chris Bartholomew, the lighting consultant Matthew Leventhall and the actors is absolutely brilliant. Light and sound and our imaginations are what it takes to create this endless world – the actors control all lights on stage revealing just what we need to see. They create a disturbing, sometimes quite frightening ambiance where anything can happen next. The sound created creates great contrasts to what’s being shown and also accompanies the actor’s movements inside this technological realm.
However, there are a few things that take me off the deep immersion that the lights and sound are inviting me into. Even though I find the physical language of the actors to be quite good, sometimes it’s too explicit and over-reacted. It is important to mention that the characters’ lines are playing in form of subtitles and the actors are merely moving their lips silently to what is being said. I believe there must be a good reason why the director chose to do so but in my opinion it takes away the strength and importance of what is being told. Furthermore, at one point, even though I am very sensitive and interested in this topic, I feel that I could guess the next step of the story. Because it becomes quite predictable I wasn’t intellectually engaged by what was being told. 3.5/5
Review written by Sofia Moura.
This show definitely carries great value and has brilliant aspects and scenes that will leave you in awe, but I do believe it still has space to grow and become a much better version of what it is.