Tuesday, 28 July 2020

“TL;DR” by
Bill Hayes
Nottingham New Theatre YouTube channel
Wednesday 29 July 2020
This one-man production is part of the New Theatre’s Quarantine Season and is the third production made in this way. The first two were “Spring” and “Awakening” which you can also view online on Saturday 8 August, and are new takes on the wonderful play “Spring Awakening”, looking at both sides of the story. Anyway, that aside we are looking at “TL;DR”.
Alistair Das, played by Rohan Rakhit, enjoys his internet and he has his own YouTube channel where he loves to express his opinions, let’s face it who doesn’t? He delves into fringe communities and is on the look out for people who will engage in his views and opinions, but admits that he probably won't agree with what they have to say.
Well, we all know that the more and more you get involved in You Tube and the internet itself, the deeper you will be drawn in; we’ve all been there at 2am still looking at those cute cat/puppy videos haven’t we? And the more we search, the more we become enveloped in the magic and wonder of the internet, and the more we stand to be isolated from those around us, and make the internet our life.
In this play Alistair.at first comes across as an angry young man with plenty of opinions, almost a saviour of the internet commentary, but slowly we discover that he may not be quite the confident, dominant character we first see. He admits that his best friends are all online, so we slowly get a contrasting picture of who Alistair really is.
He trusts nothing that he is told and questions everything; he is almost like a modern day Citizen Smith. If you don't know who he is, Google it! He isn't afraid to say what he feels but fights for what he believes, but is what Alistair believes the beliefs and opinions of his Youtube followers?
What I really enjoyed, and did not expect was the last few minutes of the play, which is left open ended, and could go several ways in the mind of the viewer. Menacing, worrying, threatening, you just don't know what Alistair has in mind, especially when you take into consideration the content of the speeches just before the end "blog"
This is the first play written by this young University student, Bill Hayes and, while being very different to what I was expecting - well to tell the truth, I didn't know what to expect from a play called "TL;DR", which for those who didn't know the online slang, is explained in the play.
There are some lovely physical descriptions of the characters who Alistair describes so colourfully, you can picture them in your mind. the script is well put together and has a proper beginning, middle and end, albeit open ended. It gives the viewer something to discuss after the play has ended.
You can always tell if an author has written from what he/she knows, and I get areal feel that Bill has written from this viewpoint as it does not feel at all forced and has a natural rhythm.
This is helped though when you have a talented actor to breathe life into the words of a play and bring those words to life, and that is what you get with
. His comedy is natural, and I know Rohan to be a natural wit in any case. Being so close to the screen though really accentuates this comedy, but also you get to see close up the change in mood in Alistair as he slowly becomes more down beat and menacing.
The play is perfect for the current climate and I love the production and editing of the play. It gave a feel of a trendy sit com or something similar to "Phone Jacker" - a TV show that I loved. It has change of pace and the sound effects and editing made the production edgy and with spark.
Written and co-directed by
Bill Hayes
, co-directed by
Jack Titley
who also produced the piece. Edited by Max Nichol and
Skylar Turnbull Hurd
, this is a clever piece of work, which probably wouldn't work as well in a typical theatre setting as it does as an online piece of theatre.
At about 40 minutes, it's not too long, so there is no excuse to miss out on this novel debut piece of writing.
“TL;DR” is being shown on the Nottingham New Theatre You Tube Channel on Wednesday 29 July at 7.30pm, with a Q&A session afterwards, Please visit the Nottingham New Theatre You Tube site