Lockdown review: Conduit

Theatre group Chronic Insanity have crafted a new show which takes place in your email box. Called Conduit, it is written, directed and performed by co-artistic director Joe Strickland.

How it works is by the ticket holder interacting with Connor, the main character, who is coping with loneliness and separation from his partner. He asks us to watch and comment on videos he has put on YouTube, and how you respond as an audience member informs the content of further emails received.

Conduit challenges what theatre can and should do, and is certainly innovative, but waiting for email replies to arrive takes time. I signed up at 11am and got the initial email almost straightaway, but other commitments meant I couldn’t fully participate until the evening.

Prepare to wait for “the next step” but try to engage with the character and respond as you would in real life. Of the four videos I received from Connor, the final two worked very well, and the direction the piece took after that really interested me and showed the potential of this type of “theatre”.

In its current form, Conduit feels as if it has places yet to go, and I felt rather detached from it at times. I was also undecided how to respond at a couple of points, and unclear when the show had ended – until I received a thank you for participating!

There is a lot more that can be explored (maybe using live chat or similar, with timed slots for audiences, to keep momentum going), but in what is available for experience right now, Chronic Insanity are a company to keep firmly on the radar.

Conduit is running for one week from 29 June 2020. Tickets are available on a Pay What You Can basis at https://www.tickettailor.com/events/chronicinsanity/382216/.

You can donate to support Chronic Insanity at their Ko-Fi page.