The Internet Was Made for Adults, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

A cabaret, but also Tinder, and a break up, sending nudes, watching porn for the first time and embracing or fearing female sexuality. The Internet was Made for Adults squashes a few too many storylines into one 70-minute show, some of which have almost nothing to do with the internet at all. Individually they would all make interesting and important subjects for a play, but crammed together it’s too disjointed to really
enjoy.

Recently, plays like Fleabag have set a precedent for theatre about female sexuality: let’s put it on stage, make it honest, and give women the opportunity to be seen as sexual beings. I am desperate to support all performances that explore this topic, but it does still have to make sense as a production, and flow together to create something cohesive and interesting to watch.

This could easily be a short and witty cabaret. Hitting the Wall productions have written some very amusing songs about STDs and bears experiencing chronic pain syndromes, and singer Fiona Jane, playing Phoebe, has a beautiful voice. Although The Internet was Made for Adults is interspersed with these little minuets, the storyline is leading to Phoebe’s first big gig. She changes outfit, takes off her shoes*, comes down the stage and… it’s the end.

There are some real nuggets of gold hidden here, but nothing is quite in its rightful place. With such a huge creative team at Hitting the Wall Productions, it’s no wonder it feel a bit mish-mash, but it definitely needs some tightening up before they take it anywhere else.

*Why is it that cabaret performers love to take their shoes off?

The Internet Was Made for Adults runs through 11 February.

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