Do you spend too much time on social media? Most of us do these days. It’s just so easy to scroll through Instagram while you’re on the couch, or watch YouTube while you’re eating your dinner. In Vlogger, we watch Mia’s “influencer” lifestyle become a coping mechanism. She uses a rising follower count to forget the world around her, even when online is the last place she should be. Vlogger is the latest show by Eva’s Echo Theatre Company, looking at what can happen when we prioritise virtual relationships over real ones.
In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a “vlogger” is someone who makes videos of themselves going about their everyday life. That’s what Mia is, documenting her life through YouTube and Instagram. Projections of Mia’s videos and Instagram posts were projected on to the back wall while the actors mimicked the movements in real time. The method works really well, and brings the two parts of the show together nicely.
Emotions behind the screen
The play’s stage features two characters- Mia the vlogger and her girlfriend, Sandra. Actors Rena Bryson and Leona de Búrca are great at holding the audience’s attention and showing us a relationship that’s full of ups and downs.
The story also features Chris, Mia’s brother, who we briefly see through video. Chris has a lot of personal problems that take their toll on both Mia and Sandra. Mia turns to her online community when upset, posting content that makes her feel better, but at a significant cost to those close to her.
Lots of potential
I saw Vlogger on opening night, so technical glitches are to be expected. This play uses sound cues and video and photo projections, all of which need to be carefully co-ordinated with what’s happening on stage. This is a lot for a technical crew to handle, and there were a few bumps in the road. With a smoother technical experience, the multi-media aspect can really pack a punch.
The story is particularly interesting in a time when social media can really make or break people. The play’s ending is quite abrupt, and an extra scene could really show the audience exactly why we need to leave social media alone every once in a while. Then again, maybe it’s up to us to decide what happens next.
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