A curious sci-fi duet takes place in Konstancja Kendall’s play, now at The Space after a run at the Camden Fringe.
Reviewed from the livestream, we first find a sole survivor, Eli (Alfie Ford), of a catastrophe that has obliterated his ship and crew.
His changing mood is pimpointed by the music of Al Jolson (“Sitting on Top of the World”) and Al Bowlly (“My Melancholy Baby”), although there are no (Dennis) Potteresque lip-synch moments.
Ada is his only companion, the AI voice of his surrounding system – when she takes an opportunity to take on a human form and find out the meanings of touch and pain, Adrift becomes louder, darker, and pertrubing.
As ‘Amanda’ (played by Kendall) and Eli connect and disconnect, the second half of this intense and original play becomes hard to stay with, but the ending – perhaps inevitable – makes up for it.
Ada has all the duplicity of 2001: a Space Odyssey‘s HAL, while Kendall displays a keen interest and understanding of genre norms in her script and performance.
Lewis Maines directs for Hagstone Theatre (the company run by Ford and Kendall), and they display a shared interest in tackling gutsy and haunting new writing with a twisted edge.
Although this play is not perfect, it is worth a look (although the livestream fails to do justice to what seemed to be a complicated set of sounds in the venue itself).
You can catch Adrift at The Space until 7 Oct with details here.