Monday, 25 April 2016

THREE star review for Darknet, at the Southwark Playhouse

pic credit Lidia Crisafulli


THE internet can be a scary place. It can be used to spy on someone or an organisation, it can become an obsession and it can hide those who use it to harm others.
Darknet, a play which is a collaboration between Rose Lewenstein and Russell Bender, and now on at the Southwark Playhouse, shines a light on the shady dealings that go on online.
It navigates through the world of data transparency and the uncharted deep web, uncovering the things we choose to share online and the places in which we can hide.
It is set in South London at some point in the future. It features a variety of characters whose lives intermingle - we have schoolgirl Kyla who goes to Jamie to get help in the form of methadone for her drug addicted mother. Then there is Allen, who works for Octopus Inc, a somewhat sinister and shady internet giant that pretty much controls society and allows users to exchange personal data for currency. He in turn is trying to persuade cyber hacker Gary to join the company rather than serve out his sentence for hacking in jail.
It is an interesting piece, exploring fascinating themes and full of characters who find themselves at the mercy of the web and who get drawn into it and ultimately get trapped.
As such it is dark, murky, creepy and at times sinister and disturbing, although there is also plenty of humour that runs through it and the use of iPads and iPods is a clever and neat touch.
However there are moments when it doesn't work, in particular the scene changes. That said it is very well acted, particularly Ella McLoughlin as Kyla and Gyuri Sarossy who is suitably creepy as the crooked Allen.

Darknet is on at the Southwark Playhouse, Newington Causeway until May 7. Visit for full listings.

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