One month to go until Theatre Témoin’s latest devised show FEED arrives at London’s VAULT Festival. We hear from artistic director Ailin Conant about clickbait capitalism and round up reviews and interviews from Edinburgh and on tour. Time to get booking!
Welcome to the stimulating world of FEED where emotions are the currency and your passions and fantasies will be indulged… for a price. Theatre Témoin’s latest show runs at VAULT Festival from 6 to 10 March 2019.
A Palestinian woman takes a striking photograph of a boy. A journalist steals the image for an unrelated article. A blogger is moved to tears by the article and posts a tribute. An SEO specialist makes the blogger’s tribute go viral. Now all four are caught in a media storm, in a whirring story that moves from reality into dark fantasy as the algorithms spin to deliver ‘what people want’.
The FEED cast are Jonathan Peck, Louise Lee, Yasmine Yagchi and Nina Cassells. Playwright Eve Leigh has contributed to the devised script, with Chris Thorpe as mentoring dramaturg. The production has set and costumes by Helen Coyston, sound by Ross Flight and movement by Dorie Kinnear.
As part of the 2019 Vault Festival, FEED runs from 6 to 10 March at The Vaults, Leake Street, London SE1 7NN. Performances (one hour) run nightly at 7.45pm. Tickets are priced £15. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Talking to… Ailin Conant
“When we began working on FEED, it was in the wake of Brexit and Trump and we thought we were going to be doing a piece on echo chambers, fake news, and social division. The more we researched, however, the more we realised that FEED was actually about capitalism.
“It’s a play about the attention economy and how our focus as consumers – our engagement, our emotional arousal, and the time we spend with our eyeballs drinking in content – is the greatest commodity on the current market.
This means that anything that provokes emotion – humour, scandal, outrage, sensationalism – rises to the top while nuance and deep thinking are pushed out of the picture.
“Fake news and social divisions are a part of that, but they are a tangential by-product of a much darker and more insidious thing and really only the tip of the iceberg.
“It feels like people are cottoning on to this; there has been a lot in the media recently about algorithm-generated content and the weird worlds of things like baby YouTube. So it feels like creating FEED has been a bit of a sprint to keep ahead of the curve in terms of the information that’s current. Which is a great thing, I think. It’s a testament to how quickly we are all waking up to this stuff.”