That Is Not Who I Am
Royal Court, London until July 16
A play can be too-clever-by-half and that’s what That Is Not Who I Am is. It kicks off with an opening statement from the theatre that informs the punters a play called Rapture – a real-life investigation into how a couple came to be murdered – was going to be performed. Lucy Kirkwood, its writer, then decided to publish the play under a pseudonym rather than risk litigation and so That Is Not Who I Am – supposedly by one Dave Davidson – ended up going on instead.
The play-within-a-play kicks off with Celeste (Siena Kelly) and Noah (Jake Davies) meeting on a blind date and him informing her, rather unpromisingly, that his private parts were blown off in an explosion. He admits he’s joking and a lot of rather coyly enacted sex scenes follow as their relationship is then enacted. They find a common interest in the environment, and democracy, they reckon, is not the best way to get anything done with regard to that. They get involved in anti-democracy movements, start to become podcast stars and become persons of interest to the state and that’s presumably why they meet their grisly ends.
It’s well enough acted, but there are a lot of videos, a staged interruption from an audience member and a nervous narrator played by Priyanga Burford, which all make for a gimmicky, but also, sadly, mind-numbingly boring night at the theatre.