Review: Press Play (online)

A short digital production by Fox Story Theatre, Press Play tells the story of an anxious fox who struggles to leave his room.

Using music, puppetry, and themes relating to mental health, isolation and loneliness, Press Play aims itself at a younger audience who may be finding social interaction difficult.

With songs by Amy Glenister, and writing/direction by Declan McCarthy, this short film says it is ok to feel bad and take time for yourself without passing judgement. Marcus Fox can stand for any youngster who needs to feel everything will be fine.

Fox Story Theatre are new to me, but they have made a couple of previous YouTube originals including a version of Romeo and Juliet over the summer. Puppets do, though, seem to be the main focus.

The title Press Play seems to refer to hitting the switch to get out and join civilisation. This can apply to anyone at anytime, of course, but this Fox may feel a little childish to some adult audiences.

In telling a strong story about Fox’s anxiety, and using a variety of puppets for the characters, Press Play entertains while tackling serious questions around fitting in and taking part.

The songs are sweet, and the filming, although limited by location, feels very professional and accessible. The message of Press Play is clear. It will get better, and when you are ready to venture out, you will be fine.

You can arrange access to Press Play via a free ticket by visiting Eventbrite – this will give you access to watch the show throughout November.