The Future Is Mental – Theatre Review

SIX PLAYS from the pen of Rosie de Vekey, all performed in the space of just 60 minutes. That’s The Future is Mental, a witty taster menu of theatrical fare showing at the Vault Festival (Waterloo, London) until Sunday February 23. There’s something for everyone. Overall, it’s rather nourishing and tasty on the palate.

It’s thought-provoking writing, embracing issues from domestic abuse (Decluttering) through to the advance of technology in our lives (Alexa) and a rather drastic solution to our over-populated isle (Three Score and Ten) that I am sure men of a certain age will not feel comfortable about.

Add on top a bizarre story about the world of reality TV (The Other Side), corruptible technology (Mood Lighting) and a solution to Britain’s inept political leaders (The Best Possible Candidate) and you have more than enough to digest and cogitate about in the bar afterwards.

Wit is a common under-current although the most powerful by far of the six vignettes is Decluttering – a window into the world of a woman (Suzy Delezameta) whose life has been run into the ground by her abusive husband Mike (Owain Jones). Through decluttering the home with the help of a decluttering specialist (Anie Hu) – a cathartic process – we learn about the pain she has suffered as a result of the loss of a young child, her husband’s infidelity and abuse. It’s painful to watch, although ultimately the decluttering proves therapeutic.

Performed at the Network Theatre (buried away in the bowels of Waterloo station), the cast is a strong and enthusiastic team – just listen to them ‘warming’ up prior to the performance. Lio Lylark does a wonderful impression of AI technology (Alexa) that wants to punch above its current weight while Kia Bow and Lara Lom are suitably over-the-top as reality TV sisters who can’t even stop performing in the afterlife. Vanity and neurosis rule the roost. All in all, 60 minutes of spicy fare. Appetising. More medium-rare than tender.

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