THEATRE – Algorithms “could be this years Fleabag”

Photo submitted

THE debut play from Sadie Clark could be this year’s Fleabag– in the form of a bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation. [star rating =5/5]

Brooke, played by writer Sadie Clark, is turning thirty in four weeks. She has no partner, her job sucks, and every time she looks at social media she feels like she is failing at life.

Perhaps if she can just find a partner then maybe things will start to work out and her mum will finally stop criticising her.  

Staged in a small self-contained space in the Pleasance performance complex, Algorithms is a one-woman show which packs a lot into its hour-long runtime. Covering everything from dating, social media and body hair to loneliness and overwork, there is easily enough material here for an entire series.

The highs are high and the lows are low, and Clark portrays each phase of Brooke’s journey toward self-acceptance with a bracing honesty and fearlessness. She is a talented solo performer and the audience’s attention remained riveted on her for the entire show.

Algorithmsis one of those Fringe shows which does not feel limited or half-realised. A few props and almost bare staging were all it took to bring Brooke’s story to life. And the story clearly resonated with the crowd, as there was plenty of knowing laughter and smiles throughout.

Brooke’s frantic attempts to meet her own expectations of how her life should be highlights all the ways society, and our parents, help form our expectations for life. These expectations then form a blueprint, an algorithm, for happiness.

But what happens when that algorithm no longer computes? How do we create an algorithm for happiness?

If all of these problems sound too serious and unfunny for an afternoon of theatre then don’t worry. Other problems discussed include jumpsuits and men who don’t know much about anatomy – the millennial experience is a diverse one at least. There is also some seriously funky dancing.

Whether you are a millennial, a baby boomer, or one of the various letters of the alphabet, you should probably go and see this play. Given that it’s insightful, hilarious, and even a little bit heartbreaking, Algorithms is definitely worth a top spot on your Fringe Festival to-do list.