Review – Erased, Afterlight Theatre Company, University of Northampton Flash Festival, Hazelrigg House, Northampton, 23rd May 2017

AfterlightIn the year 2020 – that’s only three years’ time so they’re obviously predicting a rush in scientific research – Clear Laboratories are the go-to supplier of the innovative new technique for depression, anxiety and a whole host of Mental Health issues. Their solution is to implant a “null cell” to prevent a painful memory from recurring. I guess it could work; and I’m sure there would be many customers.

ErasedWe see three such customers in “Erased” – the sullen, withdrawn kleptomaniac, the recidivist return customer and the girl who lied about her age to get on the programme; and the play is about the interaction between them, trying to find out more about their pasts and why they are here. The scene is broken by one gameshow style interruption – a juxtaposition of lightness and humour with the darkness and seriousness of the main theme.

Afterlight castThis performance featured a large amount of video content, perhaps a little out of balance in comparison with the live performance. And, I’m sorry to say it, but I found the play itself rather dull. There was a lot of deep self-examination but not a lot of drama. The characters performed by Helena Fenton and Joseph T Callaghan were very downbeat and didn’t seem to have much variety in them; and it was only the presence of Luke Mortimore that gave the play any real sense of life or movement. The play accentuated the lack of connect between the characters and unfortunately presented the same disconnect to the audience. It’s a shame because all three actors have proven themselves first rate in previous productions, but I’m afraid this really didn’t do it for me.