‘Lovingly detailed’: THERE’S SOMETHING AMONG US – Chronic Insanity (Online review)

In Online shows, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Louise PennLeave a Comment

We are back on the dark side with the latest production from Chronic Insanity’s 12×12 project – There’s Something Among Us starts with the premise of five YouTubers who died in a fire. The interactivity of this piece is in who you decide to watch during each video game segments from the seven videos available.

I chose to swap who I was following at each opportunity so I could get a sense of the different characters in the piece: note you only really have three chances so four of the characters in the game will remain very sketchy beyond their opening video intro – you can, of course, always rewatch as many times as you wish to get the full flavour of what’s going on.

The YouTubers we get to meet are: BGFit (Ben Gilbert), VeeChosen1 (Victor Itang), Sunny (Omar Khan), Lulu (Kate Spencer), Platypus (Joe Strickland), BeccaBakes (Amber Wadey), and new recruit Fifi (Lily Bailes). They all live together in the same house and have bonded together as content creators under the same management company, boosting each other’s reach and likes. I’ve been reading about these recently, where young creators in similar lines (here, wellness and food) are put together like some vlog supergroup.

The basic plot of this show is three-fold: the mystery of who died, and how; the game play itself and who gets to be ‘the imposter’; and what has happened to Sam (John Thacker), the vlogger who mysteriously left the group. All the three sections may or may not be interlinked, and with each group interaction we find out a little bit more about how they live and work together.

The game the group play together is lovingly detailed, with maps, avatars, sound effects, and tasks (I see that Among Us is a real game which clearly served as inspiration). As you follow your character of choice you also follow how they play the game, so if they are killed off you see that, and presumably if they are the killer you get to experience that too (I didn’t choose anyone who was ‘the imposter’). I would have liked the option to switch between characters during the game, but you can watch at least what is going on in the other video windows dotted around the main screen’s action.

There’s Something Among Us is a show which will work well in repeat viewings, as there are several pieces of the puzzle you will either see or miss depending on which character path you follow. The ending is presumably the same whichever route you choose, and is a bit of a downbeat closure to a show which works where everyone is a suspect, but I enjoyed watching the on-camera of various influencers living in their own little bubble.

You can sign up to watch There’s Something Among Us on a Pay What You Can basis here. Written and directed by Joe Strickland, it seems to pull back from the innovations we have seen throughout other shows in this season and in 2020’s productions, but offers an interesting perspective on the friendships we build both on- and off-screen.

Check out my reviews of other shows by Chronic Insanity here.

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Louise Penn
Louise Penn is an experienced writer and editor, published in a variety of outlets. She worked as a professional librarian for 25 years before going freelance full-time in 2018 and setting up her Lou Reviews blog. She is passionate about all types of theatre and the arts.
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Louise Penn on FacebookLouise Penn on InstagramLouise Penn on RssLouise Penn on Twitter
Louise Penn
Louise Penn is an experienced writer and editor, published in a variety of outlets. She worked as a professional librarian for 25 years before going freelance full-time in 2018 and setting up her Lou Reviews blog. She is passionate about all types of theatre and the arts.

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