Review: It’s Behind You!
We’ve all had terrible Zoom calls over lockdown. Nightmarish ones, perhaps. However, they’ve never been quite as deadly as this.
Trick of the Light Theatre’s (via Circa Theatre) work It’s Behind You! is a piece of digital theatre born out of the COVID-19 lockdown. First performed live online on 28 May, and available until 30 July 2020 to watch online, this work brings together four friends on a tempestuous Zoom call, and the monster that’s stalking them.
Chris (Chris Parker) is definitely not breaking lockdown rules, Andrew (Andrew Patterson) is trapped in his house with Simon (Simon Leary) who is very attached to him, and Carrie (Carrie Green) is just home from her essential work as a clown doctor. Over twenty-five minutes, the friends banter, argue, and point fingers at each other for breaking the lockdown rules – then, inevitably, get killed by a monster (Brynley Stent). It’s behind you, indeed.
The performances are very strong and fun, especially considering that the whole thing was done live. While all these performers are stage actors, there’s another level to digital theatre – the fact that the internet often breaks for no reason – and performing live whilst having to be conscious of filming oneself, as well as dealing with other tech issues personally is quite the feat. A show like this feels oddly intimate too, as the audience we’re right in with the action, riffing with the friends, potentially the monster’s next prey. The entire piece is very slick and well-made, and definitely is a fantastic example of what future digital work could be.
However, I wonder if this work couldn’t have come a little earlier in our lockdown. I’m very aware of the intense technological undertaking it would have taken – and it was very impressively done – but the piece doesn’t quite fit our Level 2 status right now. It’s the sort of work that could stand as a cultural marker – a sign of our times, as it were – and would have been very scary had it been played during Level 4, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it now that we’re all mostly free to leave our houses and see each other in person.
Regarding that, though, the show itself is very fun – albeit perhaps not something that will age especially well – and definitely worth checking out online.
Buy your tickets to view the show here!