Theatre N16, which is actually in Balham, is building a reputation for showcasing new and unusual work. I became aware of Tom Hartwell’s new play You Tweet My Face Space when I saw several hugely positive comments on Twitter. These comments prompted me to go and see the show, and I’m so glad I did, as it was every bit as funny as I had hoped.
The play, which stars Hartwell himself as protagonist David, is about one man’s attempt to salvage his relationship with his girlfriend Charlotte (Megan King), which is under threat thanks to his obsession with social media. Where the play displays true originality is with its personification of different social media services: dotted around the theatre space glued to their charging phones, they pop in and out of David’s life with unwelcome regularity. Instagram (Ellie Goffe) is obsessed with selfies, while Facebook (Evan Rees) will do anything to stop David deleting its service. YouTube (Matthew Gilman) wants to get the party started with some cat videos, while Snapchat (Isabel Patterson) pops in and out for its all too brief visits. There’s also Hotmail (Hadley Smith) and Tinder (Kate Okello), but my absolute favourite was Farmville (Katie Dalzell), who bemoans the loss of David’s neglected cows with a strong West Country accent.
You Tweet My Face Space is extremely funny, topical and witty, but it’s also warm-hearted and leaves you with a smile on your face. I hope it has a further life beyond its showing here, as it deserves to be more widely seen.