The fast pace and satire of You Tweet My Face Space make it a very funny show to watch. The show makes the (admittedly not very original) observation that we are all social media-obsessed: we live in a world where “the internet is as essential as water”, and spend our days filtering versions of ourselves and editing our profiles. It is a relevant theme to explore, as many of us have felt the societal pressure to have a social media profile that suggests we are having the time of our life. Often we are so distracted by what is going on online, we forget to live in the moment. That being said, I don’t feel the show developed much thematically, instead it just makes fun of how much the use of these applications is integrated into our everyday life. The show evokes a reflection of audiences’ own use of these platforms, but I can’t imagine it would make anyone delete all of them, as the play seemingly suggests.
The plot tells of a boy named David (Tom Hartwell) who is allowing his addiction to social media to get in the way of his relationship with girlfriend Charlotte (Megan King). After a photo of him kissing an unknown girl goes viral, his relationship ends and he gets fired, prompting him to remove his online presence. By attempting to do so, he realises just how much of a hold social media has over him. Other than his flatmate Matt (Jolyon Price), the rest of the characters are the different applications in human form: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Hotmail and Tinder, who persecute his wrongdoings but also argue their case as to why he should continue to have them around.
Tom Hartwell is very skilled in writing comedy and the constant interjection of lines over one another provides lots of laughter from the audience, particularly in the case of Farmville (Katie Dalzell) and her worry over her cattle and crops. Some jokes are a bit obvious and some characters are underwritten, but overall the cast work well to keep up the wit and pace of the piece. Only 60 minutes in total, the show is an appropriate length for its content.
An aspect of the show that I particularly enjoyed is that the rest of the cast sit amongst audience members or stand around the stage throughout the show. Attached to wires, “getting their fix”, they gasp each time David has a notification, frequently take selfies with audience members and play on their phones for most of the show. This makes the piece feel very modern and breaks down the wall between audience and actors.
We are all aware that we use social media and the internet more than we probably should, and so from this perspective I’m not sure the show achieved too much in changing people’s minds, but it definitely makes for a fun evening.
You Tweet My Face Space is playing at Theatre N16 until 28 January. For more information and tickets, see the Theatre N16 website. Photo: Boots & Cats Productions