Elbow Theatre Productions
Hyperlink by Itai Erdal and TJ Dawe

Dates and Venue October 4 - 14, 2017, Tues, 7pm, Wed-Fri, 8pm, Sat, 4pm & 8pm, Sun, 3pm, Wed, 1pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova

Direction & Dramaturgy Rachel Peake Projection Design Cande Andrade
Composer/Double Bass Mark Haney Lighting Design Itai Erdal
Choreography Kayla Dunbar

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

Hyperlink opened tonight at the Firehall Arts Centre. The piece that links you into the hyper activity of the social media world. A world where Facebook, Instagram and Twitter figure prominently. A world we all live in today, whether we are users or not. A world that has taken over the dynamic of everyday life.

Heading east on Cordova Street en route to The Firehall Arts Centre for the opening night of Hyperlink, a larger than life, yellow harvest moon illuminated the drive. It was so big and beautiful that it did not seem real. Coming out of the theatre after the 70 minute piece, the memory of that harvest moon had a ring of prophesy.

Hyperlink is written around the world of social media. A world where the construct of one’s own entertainment magazine rules the day. A world of a daily, hourly and in some cases minute by minute update of one’s own celebrity. It is an obsessive, frenetic, fast paced, anonymous world. A world where terms such as walls, posts, links, likes, hashtags, U-tube rule the day. A world that involves everyone regardless of whether you are an active participant in it or not.

Itai Erdal and TJ Dawe draw you into this world on entering the performance space making you a participant before even sitting down. The actors work very hard to bring the audience into the piece creating an interactive experience that evokes the many aspects of social media.

The performance starts with an audience participation exercise involving on-line dating which serves to point out the “unrealness” of life on the internet. Itai and TJ draw the audience into the hedging of the truth that is on-line dating. With a skit-like format and three video screens Ital and TJ are able to cover many issues surrounding our use of the internet during the performance.

An interesting dialogue could have been to explore the emerging discussion of the effects of social media on our society. A discussion around “absence”, absenting oneself from the constant barrage of social media. A discussion around reacquainting oneself with oneself without the intrusion of social media. Perhaps that will be another project. They both clearly enjoyed performing together and in the process brought a lot of thought and energy to the evening.

© 2017 Nancie Ottem