Vantage Point, a company made up of recent Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s graduates work in progress show, This Might Be It, has real potential to work as a production if the various strands were developed as separate productions rather than one serious sketch show.
The audience is welcomed by two of the performers reciting various facts and comments about loneliness and technology. What strikes me about a lot of theatre recently (The Nether, The Sewing Group) is this rejection of not just what technology can do but the modern world in general. There seems to be this rejection of the technology, particularly AI and social media, from young people who hark back to the days where people spoke to each other.
Only one segment seems to really feel part of the synopsis; the character played wonderfully by Gabriele Lombardo as a man dealing with grief and comforting himself with an AI robot companion/girlfriend, mainly because of Emma Lundegaard’s Humans style robot acting but the rest of the pieces seem baffling and poorly thought out in comparison.
Julie (Sundi Scott) is a motivational speaker about the human condition of loneliness with a depressed husband (Matthew Coulton) who has has an affair with Matthew Churcher’s character. Bart Suarek is a lonely, Polish cleaner. It isn’t just that these pieces are underdeveloped but they feel like poor filler for an interesting story that could be an hour long piece on its own.
Emilio Iannucci (Yes he is the son of…) is musician as well as a character in a sketch that works as a comedy piece but feels really out of place here. It fits the subject of loneliness (a young man obsessed with a donut seller but he is too shy to say hello) and has a cute finale as Iannucci is adorable (I used to have a crush on Armando back in the day) but I definitely feel that Iannucci Jr has little interest in the serious drama of his Vantage Point team and instead would rather be doing character comedy in Edinburgh in summer 2017.
There’s some lovely choreography and with time this could be a stunning piece of theatre that makes the audience think about how much they depend on technology and their relationship with other adults (I know I find it very easy to delve into the online world and avoid actual people) but it needs a lot of fine tuning and I think they were held back by the venue, which when full doesn’t provide its audience with a full view of what is going on.
Edited: Due to incorrect actors names, now corrected.