by Grae Burton
directed by Jane Yonge
Presented by Theatre of Love
at The Basement Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 14 Aug 2012 to 18 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Candice Lewis;
Theatre of Love presents a Sci Fi mystery thriller 10 years in development, Free Load by Grae Burton (Coffee with Eelco, Era and the Kaitiaki) as part of Theatre of Love's Season of Obsession.
Commissioned in 2002 to create a highly physical show that explored the theme of ‘soul sistership' Grae Burton had the spark for Free Load. Set in a not so distant future 2055, where the boundaries between reality and virtual existence are blurred Free Load explores our futuristic consciousness through technological advancement.
After the untimely death of her sister Epinine, (Emanuelle Bains, The Sleepover Club, Yo Future) recluse Jeanie(Alisha Lawrie Paul, Little Histories of The Life Ordinary) develops an obsession with the latest software she has developed, Free Load, a virtual program with artificial intuition. When Jeanie herself dies bizarrely, it is up to Jeanie's spurned partner Mark (Matt Baker, The Sex Show, Suburban Murder) to discover Free Load's dark secrets. Down the virtual rabbit hole he goes.
Created intentionally in a non-linear narrative Free Load's real and virtual locations intertwine, like viewing multiple open files on a computer, the show takes the audience into different levels of hyper-reality as Mark experiences MESSENGER (Jason Hodzelmans Titus, The Dinner Party) offspring of the iphone's Siri and interactive virtual servant, and attempts to piece together what happened to Jeanie.
Grae Burton started to develop Free Load with the support of Creative New Zealand and Playmarket<em>. Free Load has been reworkshopped, reconceptualised and reloaded for a brand new Auckland experience produced by Theatre of Love and directed by Jane Yonge (Ngaire and Naureen Prisontime Special, Noises Off).
Inspired by Pinocchio, Frankenstein and 2001 A Space Odyssey Free Load is a story of epic scale about sisterhood, the hazards of humanity's growing relationship with virtual spaces and the individual's right to choose to live or die.
‘A dramatic, electric and thrilling story... an exciting, intelligent, powerful and unreal piece of future shocking theatre.' - Matt Bowler, Fairfax Media
Free Load will be performed at
The Basement Studio, Greys Avenue Auckland,
14-18 August, 2012, 7pm.
Tickets at The Basement Box Office, (09) 361 1000 orhttp://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2012/aug/free-load