Brixton House is scheduled to open in Spring 2021 and is using lockdown to revisit productions from its Ovalhouse archives. Filmed by LIVR, the 360° virtual reality theatre platform, these performances are available for a week and utilise video tech that means a front row view can be rotated around the stage. The first release is Random Selfies by Mike Kenny, a monologue diving into the loneliness of Loretta, a ten-year-old feeling lost in London.
The innovative use of technology continues onstage; Rachana Jadhav has designed clever animations that appear on the backdrop to beautifully illustrate the minutiae of Loretta’s suburban life in her messy bedroom. Christina Ngoyi captures the earnest curiosity and confusion of our protagonist, shifting easily from enthusiasm to melancholy as she gets to grip with the modern realities of childhood. From awkward firsts steps in friendship with an asylum seeker to a lively makeover with the mean girls, there are a succession of social media pitfalls to navigate. Christina keeps the energy high, filling in for all the people in Loretta’s life, from meddlesome mother to laidback neighbour.
There are plenty of issues to fit in and director Owen Calvert-Lyons keeps the action moving at a good pace as we drop into a variety of locations. The writing moves smoothly from sharp sarcasm to thoughtful reflection, delving into why young people might feel alone in a big city even when they have a strong internet connection.