Myles Away at Chronic Insanity Theatre Online
Myles Away is the eleventh show of the Twelve Productions in Twelve Months project by Nottingham-based company Chronic Insanity. It’s an online interactive experience where the spectator becomes the latest recruit of a platform called AWAY. Myles is the founder of AWAY, a software designed to be a sort of digital utopia allowing its subscribers to access a space where they are free from labels and prejudice. When Myles is fired by the company, the spectator can intervene to support the ideals upon which the project was founded.
The play consists of onscreen text explaining the context and guiding the audience through the experience. There are also clips that show Myles and a former colleague debating social and political issues. The spectator is assigned a mission that also leads to an exploration of the software; they are given full access and can look at the contents of all the files stored within it. Clicking on the folders will unveil written notes, video clips and the company’s confidential material, which can be used against them.
The idea of an interactive game is fun, and it makes for an interesting approach to introducing current social topics and inviting reflection. In terms of material, however, there is not so much offered. The characters talk about hot topics, including gender reassignment, technology and capitalism, but the discussion doesn’t go into much depth. The peripheral content, such as the random files that can be accessed, is quite irrelevant; it could perhaps have been used to add further layers of information about the themes at hand or to drive the drama further.
Myles Away is a cool project that was probably backed by a lot of brainstorming and generated by strong feelings about the topics it handles, but the outcome feels thin and scattered. The lack of continuity dictated by the format means that there is no sense of undertaking a journey, but rather it feels like a disjointed experience consisting of accessing bits of content that fail to build up momentum.
Myles Away is available to view online from 27th July until 2nd August 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.