Random doubts and gaslighting: Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels
Sending a semi-naked photo to a boyfriend sets off a chain reaction of events between two women in Athena Steven's Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels. Is it a case of overthinking everything or is some power game at play?
Writer Athena Steven's has repurposed her play into a streamed online event split into mini-episodes released every night over February. Now that we're in March, you don't have to deal with the suspense of waiting for the next instalment, and you can binge it all in one sitting online. It feels like a part drama, part theatre at home and part paranoia.
The story unfolds through monologues from the two women. They don't have names other than the girlfriend (Evelyn Lockley) and the best friend (Stevens). What brings them together is a man who turns out to be bringing out their darker side. They begin to question everything, and what slowly emerges is a tale of power and control.
It's imaginatively captured on stream on the YouTube platform. However, you need to allow for YouTube's endless clutter and random advertisements. Each episode runs for under ten minutes and builds on each of the character's doubts and fears.
Filming with iPads and everyday objects found about the home highlights the naturalness of the situation. And placing the two characters alone at home, filmed at unusual angles and moody music underscoring the dialogue heightens the tension. Watching it during the lockdown, where there is more isolation than ever, makes the self-doubt and internal monologues seem more believable.
The pacing might not be for everyone's taste, but the performances, ideas and resourcefulness are to be admired.
As part of the Finborough For Free programme, the theatre's releasing a new work every month of closure for free. You can support the theatre by becoming a friend or making a donation from their website.
Directed by Lily Mcleish, Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels is available online until the end of March.