Hacktivists is part of the Connections festival held at the National Theatre, hosting a collection of plays that are written by up and coming writers for young adults. This superb opportunity allows young actors to perform in the Dorfman Theatre at the National, and to have the honour of performing at such a prestigious theatre. Hacktivists was written by Ben Ockrent, who has also written for television programmes such as Waterloo Road (BBC) and Youngers (E4).
The piece had quite a complicated and unique theme, and it was interesting to follow. The story is of a young girl called Beth (Seetal Kaur) who joins a gang of computer experts and eventually causes a revolt against the government, taking control of the gang and leading them into trouble. The writing was intricate and it was important to follow what the actors were saying, although this was slightly challenging at times due to a few issues with projection and diction. Nonetheless, the actors as an ensemble performed well, showing the characters’ general interest in the subject and made this quite easy to follow. It did seem somewhat convenient at times how the conversation led on, but many of the actors showed what appeared to be genuine interest in their subjects.
The choreographic changes between the scenes were clever and were visually pleasing to watch, but seemed a little disorganised at times. Although the stage was dark, and the actors were holding LED lights to signify a change in a scene, some of the actors had higher energy levels than some others, and this therefore looked a little messy at times. The intention of this was really interesting, but if the ensemble polished this section, it could be even more clear.
Although there were about 15 actors on stage, it was really nice to see the moments of ensemble performance, as well as singular characters having their own moments from time to time. The parts were relatively equal, giving each actor an opportunity to shine on stage. It is clear that the group has worked very hard to create a strong performance, and besides the few trip ups on lines, it seemed very clear and precise. It’s charming to see such a large group of young people with a desire to perform in an artistic way. I hope that this inspires many of the young actors to carry on in their acting endeavours in the future.
Hacktivists played as part of Connections at the National Theatre. For more information and tickets, see the Connections website.