If there is one thing I hate about the theatre, is audiences having their phones out. But in this particular incident, it was encouraged.
Creator of the show Javaad Alipoor invites the audience to download What’s App to interact with him.
In a era of the digital world, where people can say what they like, where they like and to who they like without getting the physical abuse back. And Alipoor puts this into his performance of The Believers Are But Brothers.
The show looks at men, politics, current affairs, Islam, ISIS, radicalism and many more, yet it has been done in a way that has left this reviewer feeling rather offended. Because it is interactive with the audience, it allows them to rant and react to this 1 hour show. Feeling like I am sat in a Facebook group that I have nothing in common with and watching people comment and rant to each other, I am desperate to come out of it.
I am sat in the theatre looking down at my phone not looking at whats going on in front of me, perhaps that is the intention? As I am looking at my phone, I am offended and angered by what I read- I don’t want to read it but for some reason it is all I can look at.
The Believers Are But Brothers is controversial and challenges our perceptions and thoughts of the world we live in today. I would have liked to have a moment of pause to take it all in- Alipoor’s performing comes across like a lecture- I am being talked at rather than too and there is no option to react or have a conversation. I have no moment to take it all in and I found it overwhelming.
He does not always address the audience directly, there are moments in the performance where he talks to us via a webcam and that is projected onto a screen. This adds another level of intensity and dimension to the show.
Don’t get me wrong, his words are poetic-even if I don’t understand or agree with them. The performance made me feel uncomfortable and I really didn’t like sitting and watching the conversation on my phone, yes I could have got up and left but I didn’t.
I did take myself off the What’s App group straight away after the show had finished.
The Believers Are But Brothers is on at Northern Stage till Saturday 16th click here for more info