Unscorched

3
Finborough Theatre. Winner of the Papatango New Writing Award 2013
By Orlando - 1st Nov 2013

The job of a Digital Analysis is certainly not for the feint hearted. In short, to view thousands of images and sequences of on-line child pornography and categorise from a scale of 1 – 5. Serious stuff. Very difficult subject matter and a seriously ‘hot potato’ under current climes!

Luke Owen, winner of the Papatango new writing award for 2013, writes with great sensitivity and maturity around the central theme and subject matter. Allusion and sideward glances, rather than overt journalistic rhetoric presents the audience with nuggets and snippets of detail to enhance the story with facts, figures and self-created imagery on our part. All very clever and it is certainly successful in exposing the subject matter for theatre platforms and further discussion.

The intrinsic problem is its brevity. Much like the disposable nature of the internet and the flicking around from one site to another, Unscorched is unsatisfactory in it filmic and episodic formula. Before or just at the point of interest or drama, we are sent forward to another scene (spammed to another page, if you like). A lack of character or plot interrogation or development really starts to irritate as we are subjected to yet another lengthy and somewhat ill conceived scene change. The show ran at 1 hr 10 mins. The play itself would run around 55 mins. The result is a sketch made up of moments.

Yes. Provocative. Yes. Powerful in its moments. Yes. A wonderful ensemble cast and super design with tight direction.

However, a fulsome play of the moment representing the best in new writing? No.

Orlando Weston for UK Theatre Web


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