• Amy Toledano

The Future Is Mental presented by Network Theatre Company

What is it? The Future Is Mental is a collection of short scenes about our near future.

What is it all about?

The Future Is Mental looks at the dark parts of our society in a Black Mirror-esque take written and directed by Rosie de Vekey. It comprises of six separate scenes covering an abusive relationship, the democratic system, online living and much more.

How did it make me feel?

There is a lot to talk about in The Future Is Mental with a fifteen strong cast and a wide breadth of stories. Writer de Vekey certainly tries to do a lot in this hour long piece, but unfortunately none of it really lands. The stories rely on some predictable premises without attempting to subvert them in anyway. ‘The Other Side’ was particularly difficult to watch, taking the Kardashian stereotype and stopping there. This shows claims to be the midpoint between Black Mirror, Margaret Atwood and Killing Eve but The Future Is Mental is stuck in a cycle of self congratulatory futuristic cliches. The acting also leaves a lot to be desired. There are so many actors but little in the way of stand out performances. Sci-Fi does not need to be clinical but most performances lack emotional gravitas and do not provide the audience with something to hold on to. The exception to this is Matthew Gill who gives a humorous and commanding performance as Facilitator. The direction, also by Rosie de Vekey, does not add a lot to the sterile script. The actors spend a lot of their stage time performing aimless tasks and the blocking is bland and arbitrary. Lighting design by Emma Byrne only sought to confuse further as it is messy and uninventive.

Anything else?

The Future is Mental is an ambitious piece that does not realise it’s potential.

Serafina x

The Future is Mental is playing at The Network Theatre until the 23rd February 2020.

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