Fringe Theatre review: Action at a Distance

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Action at a Distance | Zoo Southside (Venue 82) | Star rating: ***

Chris (Rosa Caines) and Josh (Dom Luck) both live in Nevada but met online. She’s an out-of-work plumber, he’s a data analyst for a tech company but spends his spare time working for a charity which collects data about the impact on the ground of American drone strikes in the Middle East.

As they get to know each other, he admits he’s keeping the charity afloat by betting on the dark web on where the bombs will fall. And Chris sees an opportunity to serve her own agenda, to help her mother (Nina Cavaliero) who has fallen through the safety net of Obamacare and needs money for essential surgery.

Ethical conundrums abound in Rory Horne’s play, ably staged by Argonaut Theatre, recent graduates of the University of East Anglia. It’s not perfect: we need to see more of the fledgling relationship between Chris and Josh before the bigger issues take over, and it doesn’t seem to be quite clear how it should end, but it’s a promising piece of work with things to say about alienation, systems that let people down, and the way we do war in the 21st century.

• Until 22 August