Doo-cot, Life on Line

Review in Issue 13-1 | Spring 2001

If you’re into techno-wizardry and gadgets Life on Line is for you. A range of impressively clever ideas and images feed this piece, although often the simplest work best. When digital icons of the art world’s Madonna and Child end up carried on a scrap of cloth – which then turns into a ‘baby’ – the boundaries between different media collapse. Similarly when Nenagh Watson’s naked body is swathed in green tape and digitally projected, the disjunction between screen-world and stage-world blurs.

But this is digital art rather than theatre, and would probably work better in the virtual rather than the real world. One applauds the technical cleverness of the production, but as a performance it lacked warmth. The moment when we were invited to play our mobile phones captivated some, but left me cold. Weak movement and puppetry skills only alienated me further. If you put yourself onstage, then at least bother to acquire the necessary performance skills. Theatre has to connect with spectators living and breathing in the same space. Doo-cot need to acquire some sense of the urgency necessary to communicate theatrically.

That said, the underlying premise of Life on Line is fascinating and charts an uneasy course between the modern idolatry of technology and the human need for some sense of the divine. There are memorable moments that bring you up against the past and a potential future, where technology is the new Saviour, in an almost-hymn to a digital world. If the seeds of the story inherent in this piece were unearthed, it could make a powerful comment.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-1
p. 26