Length – 13 mins
Cast – 1m, 1f
Synopsis – In a world overturned with rioting, two very different characters are forced in together. Who can they really trust? Is any news good news at all?
Newshound isn’t SF, per se – apart from the robot dog, that is (if I find my Teksta Dog, he can make an appearance!). The play deals with the ways in which technology increasingly influences and dictates human dissent; in other words, how the internet starts and prolongs a riot. The initial spark of an idea came from reading Stanislaw Lem’s His Masters Voice; in particular, this quote:
It turns out, however, that freedom of expression sometimes presents a greater threat to an idea, because forbidden thoughts might circulate in secret, but what can be done when an important fact is lost in a flood of impostors, and the voice of truth becomes drowned out in an ungodly din? When that voice, though freely resounding, cannot be heard, because the technologies of information have led to a situation in which can receive best the message of him who shouts the loudest, even when the most falsely? (22)
So this play is still in its rough form – I was fortunate enough to have a scratch production at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in… predictably, Brockley, where I also directed. It has the elements that I normally include in a setting – a claustrophobic environment, an ambiguous setting outside in which both (or more parties) have conflicting views. The perspectives are split between two characters – an ex police officer and a student, one of whom is completely jaded by the system, one who believes that hearing something good, something positive can help her rebuild her faith. Some of the feedback from the play mentioned its alleged didactic nature, which by portraying both sides of the story (especially since the riots worldwide, as well as the student protests in London) is understandable, I guess.