The review in full
Future Regrets by Rosalind Wyllie plays with time and space (and cyberspace), taking us on a journey to Venice with Lara (Mariah Gale) and her new husband Tom (James Howard). Wyllie mixes their story (played backwards for part of the time) with computer games, Facebook and the inhabitants of online chat rooms. A recipe for producing a very confused audience, one would think, and yet she and director Justin Audibert (assistant director for the RSC Long Ensemble) make it crystal clear just where we are at every stage. Actually, that’s apart from the very dramatic opening which does have us wondering if we have somehow wandered into a stage version of a Hollywood horror movie – but all is explained early on. But you really do need to have some experience of Facebook or some parts would be a bit difficult to follow.
A play about computers then? Partially, but it’s really an anatomy of a relationship told in a very 21st century way.
Four years ago I saw Wyllie’s first play, Green Beans, which I described as “a remarkably assured piece of work” in its characterisation, dialogue and playing with the form. Those same elements are present here but she has clearly matured as a writer, handling complexity of both form and content with a growing skill, establishing herself as one of the best playwrights to emerge in the region in the last ten years.
All kudos to the RSC and Live for giving new playwrights a fantastic opportunity to flex their writing muscles and to the NE contingent of director Steve Gilroy and actors Victoria Elliott, the very young Sarah Lewis Obuba and Karen Traynor for more than holding their own in such distinguished company.