Big Guns is a curious play, Debra Baker and Jessye Romeo sit on a stage littered with popcorn and wrappers and speak into microphones. Often the stage falls into darkness and sometimes they shine torches as they move about the set. And all the while they speak to one another, building up a paranoid feeling of fear. Three different scenarios are presented – a personal diary found and read guiltily by someone else, the blogger couple whose perfect life online is not quite so perfect offline, and the vlogger who is so deeply involved in her online life her husband is all but forgotten. We become intimate with the characters lives – we know more than we should, and we know we shouldn’t want to know more, but we also can’t help wanting to know, and we know this is wrong, but still we keep watching.
It certainly isn’t easy viewing, there were times when I felt highly uncomfortable, others when I was completely bewildered, but Debra Baker and Jessye Romeo are mesmerising in their roles as ‘fear’. And it addresses interesting questions, particularly the paranoia of the online world, our fear of being on the brink of an unknown digital age, and the feeling of being constantly watched. And even more disturbingly the fear within ourselves that we will push a boundary just a little too far, the one we know we aren’t supposed to – spending a bit too much time looking a person up on the internet, watching the video we know we shouldn’t, reading the deepest secrets from someone else’s diary, anonymously trolling someone on the internet because it’s ‘funny’.
It was an enjoyable evening and I really liked The Yard Theatre – it has a great bar, and before we had a drink in Howling Hops and a burger from Billy Smokes which is just across the way (if you are visiting, Crate is also great, they do pizza and drinks with tables that overlook the canal). And it was my first visit to Hackney Wick – it’s right next to the Olympic Park, we took the overground all the way there from Clapham Junction, it was a very pleasant trip!