Echo/Chamber, written by Antonia Georgieva and Oliver McFadden, is an interactive film where the audience can make decisions which effects their experience of the story. Exploring sexuality, honesty and choice, the film delves into an unexpected romance that builds from the strangest of places.
When Drew sneaks into CEO Paul’s apartment, their interaction is instantly charged with a sexual chemistry, much to Paul’s distaste. As their meetings continue it starts to feel that there may be more going on than either of them is letting on, and the results will change both of them forever.
The choices you make throughout the film allow you to view different aspects of each of the characters, influencing your decisions as you progress. Through twists and turns, however, they all end up in roughly the same place before the climactic final choice. Whilst some of the difference to the journey only change things slightly, giving the same info from different angles, other things require you to watch multiple times to get the full experience.
Much like the show’s inspiration (Greek tragedy The Bacchae) each character follows ideology – Paul controls every aspect of his life, precision rules all, while Drew lives for freedom and chaos. Where these two roads meet is their relationship, and for it to continue there must be compromise. Whilst it is ultimately more black and white than life truly is, it does paint an interesting picture of how those we meet can alter us and shape our fates, a classic but mesmerizing idea.
The text itself is really very interesting, the dialogue beautifully balanced without too much exposition or filler, and perfectly voices these two main characters. I do find, though, that due to the vast difference between these two men, some of the results of your choices don’t quite feel plausible – though it could be argued that they are pushing themselves out of their norm due to the connection they feel.
Whilst the interactivity is certainly well executed, sadly the film production – with its poor camera angles, lighting, and sound – is badly done and cheapens the overall look of the piece. Thankfully, the performances on the part of both actors, as well as the voiceover, is excellent. Isaac Hesketh steals the show as hedonistic drag superstar Drew, in a detailed and nuanced performance. During moments of close physical contact, there is a well-developed intensity to the scenes, and it is in these moments that the story is most believable.
On the whole, this explorative show brings an interesting medium to the selection of creative content available, hitting all the right theatrical marks regardless of its technical downfalls.
Echo/Chamber is available to stream until 27 June. For more information and to book tickets, visit The Living Record’s website.