“No one is a dick on the internet. We just crack jokes and tell stories.” Welcome to 1998, where 12-year-old Otto embraces the latest dial-up technology to discuss the dark ages “that weren’t even that dark” with other similarly inclined history geeks. Written and co-performed by Ralph McCubbin Howell, Otto’s monologue, about what happens when online ‘trolls’ take over his beloved chat room, is turned into an immersive experience thanks to designer Hannah Smith and the production team’s imaginative use of sound, lighting and projections.
Tröll, Summerhall (Venue 26) ***
It’s a piece that doesn’t delve too deeply into what the internet was versus what it’s become, but instead offers a light-hearted and at times melancholic musing on childhood obsessions
and how these are replaced by the need to grow up. Beyond the snake-like
cables of the old-school technology, a troll of a more mythological kind is drawn in – one that Otto’s Icelandic grandmother is strangely familiar with.
While the story’s leisurely pace gets in the way of anything too dramatic happening, the decision to side-step the darker elements of the Web makes for a family friendly show, even though the unusual mix of fantasy and reality hints at something more unsettling in the shadows. - Sally Stott
Until 11 August.