C-O-N-T-A-C-T at Monument
A new kind of theatrical experience hits the streets of London after three successful months in Paris. C-O-N-T-A-C-T plays with storytelling in a very interesting way.
Created and directed by Samuel Senè, C-O-N-T-A-C-T is an outdoor theatre experience that has the audience following the characters through London, listening into their thoughts via headphones and a smartphone app. And with absolutely no contact for the audience, here is finally a play that people can go out and enjoy during coronavirus times. It’s certainly an interesting experience, and C-O-N-T-A-C-T acts as a sort of proof of concept, showing just how much potential there is in this way of doing things.
The audience follows (literally) Sarah, a woman who is having some difficulty with life right now. A strange man, Raphaël, appears to her who seems to be able to hear her thoughts and he sets about helping her. It’s a pretty lovely story. Short and sweet, centring on the idea of overcoming sadness and grief. Perhaps not a story, and not characters, that people will remember forever, but a nice in-the-moment tale.
The live actors perform not with their own voices, but to a pre-recorded voiceover, the exact same voiceover at each location the show is running (played by Aoife Kennan and Richard Heap), which must present all sorts of challenges. But Laura White and Max Gold (the cast at the Monument location) are completely effortless.
There are few man-made sets that can match the majesty of London, walking by the Thames, and none that can match its realism. So to be able to experience a show with that as a backdrop is lovely. But it almost feels like a wasted opportunity not to make the location a far greater part of the narrative. To be in such an amazing place but to reference it in no way whatsoever is a little disappointing. C-O-N-T-A-C-T is, however, a play adapted for multiple locations, so supposedly it has to be able to work anywhere without the surrounding area being particularly important.
Photo: Pamela Raith
C-O-N-T-A-C-T is at several locations around London from 31st August until 11th October 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.