Review – G. M. H., Stalagmite Theatre Company, University of Northampton Flash Festival, St Peter’s Church, Northampton, 22nd May 2017

GMH330 years from now, mankind has created Genetically Modified Humans – GMHs for short. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of Genetically Modified Food – what would you think about the prospect of our genes being played about with so that we can withstand the extreme changes in the Earth’s atmosphere? There’s been a new Ice Age, and the choice was to change, or die… so…? GMHs were used to build a sustainable world for humans to inhabit. But are they also human? Robot? Something halfway between the two?

Stalagmite Theatre CompanyIt’s clear when we meet two black market scavengers at the beginning of the show that they’re part of “traditional” humankind and look on the GMH that they discover as subhuman; “it”, as one of them insists they call the GMH rather than “she”. But does there come a point where the GMH’s abilities supercede the humans’? Has man bitten off more than he can chew?

Jessica BridgeAn inventive and clever play, with three strong characters as well as the looming disembodied voice of the “boss”. Very nice use of video, with the Colossal Incorporated company calling for volunteers to become genetically modified, long before the events of the play were to unfold. Jamal Franklin and Daniel Ambrose-Jones as Jamal Franklinthe two vagabonds build up a good relationship with banter and argument so you really feel you understand how these guys work together; and the sudden arrival of a GMH in the shape of Jessica Bridge throws them into uncertainty – and not without cause. Miss Bridge is delightfully aloof, misleadingly accommodating and full of surprises. Daniel Ambrose-JonesAll I can say is, if she ever asks you to give her a shoulder massage, tread carefully.

Smartly performed, clearly delivered – and with more than one surprising twist at the end. Good work and congratulations!

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