Friday, 24 April 2009

Only Connect Theatre

The CreateKX team were more than happy to return to the hospitable Only Connect Theatre yesterday evening, but this time it was to see a performance of realistic drama Future Me.

The Only Connect Theatre on Cubitt Street is run by a creative arts company working with prisoners and ex-offenders. The old baptist church has been turned into an audience engaging stage set and this unique space makes for a very intimate theatre experience.

Future Me begins by setting a familar scene; an attractive, young and successful couple (Peter and Jenny) are ready to settle down and begin their future together. This habitual scenario is quickly dashed when an accidental email is sent from Peter's account to his entire address book. The email had an attachment of child pornography. From that moment on, Peter's life and all those closest to him was never going to be the same again.

The physical closeness of actors and audience ensured Future Me was a powerful perfomance, and at times uncomfortable by challenging our understanding of human impulse and desire. From the cell unit of a rehabilitation centre the audience is introduced to Paedophilia from the perspective of the offender and the impact on those who love and trusted them.

The difficulties in supressing human impulse and desire is cleverly explored in relation to the vitual world of the internet and the distortion that this brings to our real lives. When anything you want is avaliable just like that, human impulse and its potential to destroy is ever present. 'Future me' refers to a treatment programme designed for offenders to deal with the consequences of their past and look towards a non-abusing future. Through Peter's very vulnerable cell mate Harry and Jenny's loyalty to Peter, the audience is encouraged to consider the true meaning of forgiveness, and whether the hope for a new future 'me' is possible.

As well as theatre venues, Future Me will be performed in secure hospitals and the themes in the play will be explored through workshops with patient groups.

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