We seem to take social networking, particularly Facebook, for granted. It’s so integrated into our lives, especially young people’s lives, who are brought up on poking and wall-to-wall conversations. Jonathan Britten’s new play Phillipa and Will Are Now in a Relationship becomes an eye-opening and somwhat disgusting look at how a relationship can flourish (and die) through Facebook intergration.

Phillipa (Alice White) is in her final year of university, and takes to Facebook to show her attraction to a first year, Will (Jack Swain). It starts with a Poke, and suddenly spirals into an exchanging of wall-to-wall flirtatious and extremely vile PDAs (personal display of affection) online. As the days go by, so do the exchanges until finally as Britten’s play title suggests, Phillipa and Will enter into a relationship (with a timely notification to go with it). Everything about Phillipa and Will’s relationship is projected through the site, and as an audience we watch as their relationship unfolds.

Britten makes full use of the various internet acronyms as White and Swain attempt to deliver LOLs and ROFL in the exchanges between them. White is exceptionally good at being a downright annoying and pestering girlfriend, whilst Swain holds back in true masculine fashion. They work Britten’s often bizarre and tangible exchanges brilliantly, and really get across the strange world that most of us inhabit when we project ourselves online.

Phillipa and Will Are Now in a Relationship is brilliantly funny and engaging for those users of Facebook. Britten exposes our strange projection of love, relationships and Facebook-etiquette in this snappy production. Whilst it’s an enjoyable 30 minutes, it is what it is, and seems only to be able to engage those audiences who understand the nature of Facebook and online communication. One older audience member muttered at the end of the show “Bloody Facebook!” The play just keeps the right side of the line and manages not to be completely self-indulgent.