Snuff Box Theatre’s Blush transfers to the Soho Theatre after a sell-out run in Edinburgh. This modern-day morality tale explores five interconnected stories of revenge porn, sex, cyberspace, and the search for connection.
Told as a series of monologues, one male actor and one female actor (Daniel Foxsmith and writer Charlotte Josephine, both excellent) take turns bringing multiple characters to life in a blood-red circle hemmed in by lights and camera clicks. A teenage girl enacts an Athenian revenge against the boy who made her naked flesh go viral, but worse. A Bright Young Mind’s wine-fuelled misunderstanding with an sleazy-sympathetic (?) app developer spins into rape threats when unleashed onto the cannibalistic echo chamber of social media. A compulsive masturbator and protective family man is confronted, by way of a conveniently coincidental Hello Kitty poster, of the cost of his pastime. And elsewhere, a bloke doesn’t text his girlfriend back.
Josephine’s claustrophobic script pulsates with anger, pulling no punches yet offering no answers. The Internet a lawless badlands where dog eats dog and the only thing that can beat leaked nudes are leaked pencil-dicked nudes. Victims become aggressors. Loneliness is weaponised, and every female body a loaded gun. At just 70 minutes it’s almost too intense, the actors running, panting and dancing themselves into a frenzy, trapped within the circle like pacing zoo animals. The complex multi-rolling of mostly unnamed characters requires constant attention to avoid confusion as the disparate stories crash and fold into each other, but it is the emotional truth and rawness of the performances that bring a glimmer of light to a show with a thoroughly nihilistic view of modern society.