by associate editor Joanna Trainor
“In a world where the truth is hard to come by, raising your voice and removing the mask can be the boldest act of them all.”
The above premise for Invisible Light sounds a little sanctimonious, but it’s not actually an hour of people patting themselves on the back for being so right-on. It’s really seven short stories that explore identity and what that means in 2018, and all but one* of them are a little bit tongue-in-cheek, or play with the idea in some way.
Richard Peoples’ Up to the Mark particularly stands out. Tired with her current model of Mark, Sue takes him back to the shop to upgrade her male clone – preferably to one who can cook, clean, talk about literature and have a decent conversation – though sadly that’s impossible. Nick Veitch is hilarious as the varying Marks, from grunting tidying model 1, to all dancing, all reading number 9 prototype. The script is scathing; it’s a funny and fascinating way to take a look at male stereotypes and modern relationships.
Another brilliant moment comes from the penultimate scene, when the character of Fran is affirming that she’s more than just a mother. A woman in the second row loudly ‘mhmm’d’, much to the delight of the audience. There may be Furries, dystopian/utopian futures without men and gigolos, but all of the writers’ are able to use these eccentric scenarios to convey current issues without ramming it down your throat.
New writing nights are so important for discovering newbies so I’m glad I did not judge a show by it’s blurb and had a chuckle finding exciting new talent.
*Let’s not get into the other one, it’s essentially just shouting.
Invisible Light runs until 21 July.
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