'The Double' at The Blue Room is Better than Black Mirror
The Perth arts scene is constantly abuzz with social commentary. And the Blue Room Theatre's latest blockbuster, The Double, is no exception. Potentially controversial opinion: this play is better than Black Mirror. For three reasons:
Reason #1: Because it’s theatre, you can smell the fear oozing from the actors as their identities are consumed by the assistant technology on stage.
Reason #2: There’s only one storyline so it’s much easier to follow. They’ve even made it linear for you.
Reason #3: You don’t have to re-watch it to understand the ending. But you easily could.
This play from Bow & Dagger will wake you up to the cold reality of our whack relationship with technology. Sure, you might be thinking that this kind of story is overdone: our generation has been hearing about the dangers of screens and rogue-AI since WALL-E. But The Double brings a few twists (that I will not spoil) and some of the best acting in Perth to this cautionary tale.
Vici, the AI character whose eerie perfection is skilfully portrayed by actors Michelle Aitken, Phoebe Sullivan and Amanda Watson, is everything you've never wanted. Especially if you're Victoria, the human she’s based on. Her story illustrates the increasingly blurred lines (particularly online) between our public and private identities. Through its captivating dialogue, The Double explores how the profiles we create become less and less like the people we are in real life.
The play’s set design is simple but transportive, using facially transformative technology to contact characters in the 'outside world'. It does an excellent job of conveying the dualities, dichotomies and uncertainties within the piece. The Double feels as if it’s set simultaneously in our distant and immediate future. In fact, that’s one of the many questions it poses throughout: could this happen in the future? Or is it happening already?
Decide for yourself by catching Bow & Dagger's savviest play to date at The Blue Room Theatre until the 11th of May.
3.5 Stars out of 5.