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Theatre Review: The Nether @ Duke of York's Theatre


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Following Es Devlin's Olivier award win for best set design, eyebrows were raised with regards to The Nether - and we needed to see the play before its closing next week.

Written by Jennifer Haley (Neighbourhood, They Call Her Froggy, 3: Requisition of Doom) and directed by Jeremy Herrin (Bring Up The Bodies, Hero, Much Ado About Nothing), The Nether is a production of darkened desire through yearning shadows. Porn. Paedophillia. Murder. It's a show that immediately creates discomfort throughout the auditorium; effective.

Set within a future, assumed, America, The Nether pulls between two world, reality and virtuality. In a world where anyone can be whomsoever they wish to be online through the use of "The Nether". The story centralises around a crime drama, following a case of paedophillia, where Sims (Stanley Townsend) has created a world absent of consequence. It's a virtuosically crafted script oozing in post-Orwell dystopia.

The set blew the show through the roof, with nearly everyone murmuring pleasure at the first set transformation, wherein reality slips into the virtual world. Simple handedly the most impressive set I've seen. Olivier deserved.

Due to circumstance, understudy Anna Martine took the role of Morris, lead investigator. Though her chilling lines were powerful, they were stumbled upon and often forgotten which completely took away the essence and realness of the story.

In theatres until 25th April.

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