WARNING: Using your cell phone may be hazardous to your “privacy” and well-being. Seeing PRIVACY will open your eyes wide as to the numerous pitfalls and so called advantages of said cell phone use – which we are instructed to keep on during the performance of this sold out event at the Newman Theater through August 14th – a co-production of The Public Theater and London’s Donmar Warehouse co-created by playwright James Graham and director Josie Rourke.
It’s not a play in the true sense of the word. It’s more of a seminar. A lesson in what the internet has wrought. A happening. A series of skits. A very smart, well researched, sometimes amusing, technically proficient, full of surprises, elongated scary gimmick.
Staring with the bios. And continuing on with the laminated “in flight” instructions secured behind each seat. Instructions to the use of the cell phone that will be used by the audience members and cast during this two act production which quite frankly after 45 minutes we “get it” and have perhaps had enough of its cleverness.
Mr. Radcliffe is a speed-speaking, bearded British writer who has immediately regretted sending an email to his ex – attempting to un-send it which results in a visit to a shrink (Reg Rogers) who advises him to visit New York to open himself up and to learn along with us what the invasion of the internet means to one and all.
It’s not just games and selfies and texting. It’s the potential of being hacked – embarrassing photos being leaked. You can however buy a burial plot or peruse some porn privately in the comfort of your bedroom in your PJs. HOWEVER. BEWARE. You are being watched and followed and recorded every minute you are on line.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Terrorists are also targets and can sometimes be stopped before their main event occurs.
In keeping the surprise elements of PRIVACY – private – not much more can be divulged here. The audience – you – will be the guinea pigs in discovering what your “security blanket” aka “smart phone” has in store for you. It’s only the tip of the iceberg. Smart phones are way smarter than we could ever have imagined.
The cast is exceptional. Including a video visit by Edward Snowden. Mr. Radcliffe must be commended for allowing himself to be upstaged by all the technology bombarding him and us.
Photos: Joan Marcus
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