Safe Space at Future V Online
Still shrouded under the veil of Covid-19-related lockdown measures, Denmark’s Future V, innovators of what they call New Danish Digidrama, are attempting to continue to bring fresh theatrical voices to the homes of an international audience. Safe Space, a play specifically designed to be consumed via Zoom, features a thematically heavy plot with some strong and heartfelt acting, which is sadly let down by rather banal prose and frighteningly large plot holes which interrupt the sense of immersion usually offered by the medium.
The story involves Ene (Filippa Suenson), who is worried about having received a suspicious envelope with no sender information in her mailbox. She talks about this on her regular livestream, where she quickly gets involved in a family drama when Alma (Lucia Vinde Dirschen), one of her viewers, admits to also having received an envelope. After a lot of pathos and a twist – which, admittedly, is rather surprising – the plot finds its end at the hands of white knight Luka (Mathias Bøgelund).
Considering Safe Space is produced entirely at home with virtually no special effects to speak of, the production value won’t contribute towards the overall score; it is sufficient to the extent that the audience can follow the action without any effort. The actors, with occasional overacting hiccups – perhaps a result of the new medium? – are good and portray their characters convincingly. But none of this really helps when the script – both in terms of story and prose – are rather weak.
Admittedly, the concerns with the prose may be an issue of it being lost in translation (it’s performed in Danish with English subtitles), but there are few excuses for weak plot development. Frequent silly inconsistencies or questionable decisions could have been avoided in many places – this ranges from trivial matters (why does Ene leave the livestream on after having instigated what she wants?) to more major problems (how do some of the details in the backstory even remotely explain the messed up situation in the present?). It all could have done with a good revision.
No, unfortunately, Safe Space is a good-willed attempt at bringing theatre to an audience during the lockdown, but with too many questionable decisions destroying one’s suspension of disbelief, it remains a fairly marred experience.
Safe Space is available to stream via Future V from 4th September until 10th September 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.