Little miss cellophane: Random Selfies

Trying to fit in a tech-enabled world full of hashtags, make-overs and fear of missing out, is at the heart of Random Selfies. No matter how many followers you have on social media still can’t replace having friends to hang out with. Rather than being someone nobody sees. It’s a short but sweet tale that’s returned to Ovalhouse Theatre.

We’re introduced to Loretta (Christina Ngoyi) in her bedroom. But she prefers to go with the name Lola, not some granny’s name she was named after. There are text messages pinging her and her Instagram feed is buzzing. She never misses a chance to post a selfie. But living alone with her mother she’s actually very lonely. Her older sister’s moved out and nobody at schools seems to know she’s there. And so retreats to a world of drawing and social media trends. Dreaming of life as a vlogger.

That all changes when a new girl Maya arrives at school. She doesn’t quite fit in. And after a teacher asks Lola to show her around they become friends. Lola starts to embellish stories of her life to fit in. But the stress of becoming popular and keeping up with her semi-fictional life starts to become too much for her.

Writer Mike Kenny throws in a range of topics facing young people at school. But Ngoyi in the central role as the lonely young girl gives the piece credibility and heart.

Designer and illustrator Rachana Jadhav brings to life the world of Lola with her drawings which are projected throughout the piece. They underscore the excitement and loneliness of being a young person in the big city.

Aimed at young audiences, it’s a sweet yet brief piece. Older audiences will probably wish it was expanded a bit more to give justice to its ambitious scope. But like Lola, it’s still lovely all the same.

Directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons, Random Selfies is at Ovalhouse Theatre until 6 April.


Photos by The Other Richard

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