Brooke thinks she has it all: the job, the flat, the girlfriend… but what happens when things go tits up just before your 30th birthday? Hopeless romantic Brooke is the algorithm writer for a dating app – she literally codes attraction – so when she finds herself unexpectedly single Brooke decides to give the science of love (online dating) a chance. Algorithms and its lovably hapless heroine is a play for anyone who’s wondered why they feel so lonely when connecting with others is meant to be easier than ever.
Addressing universal issues of mental health, body image and self-acceptance through a contemporary comedic voice, Algorithms represents bisexuality on stage without it defining the narrative. Despite being the largest group within the LGBTQ+ community (approximately 52%), bisexuals are still one of the most under-represented. The ‘invisible minority’, bi identities are frequently erased and dismissed by people both inside and outside the queer community and they are six times more likely to conceal their sexuality than their Lesbian and Gay peers. Although Algorithms was originally written and performed pre-pandemic, the themes of this show are more pertinent than ever, with marginalised communities in particular suffering from the isolation of the past 18 months.
Writer and performer Sadie Clark was named one of 12 Theatre Stars for 2020 in The Guardian, which cited Algorithms as ‘astonishingly assured and practically broadcast-ready… sweet, sad and, as performed by Clark herself, full of heart – with more than a touch of Miranda Hart too’. Sadie is an actor, writer, and comedy improviser and her debut sketch ‘Did You Say I’m A Survivor’ recently won the Comedy Crowd’s ‘Chorts Award’ as judged by Laura Marks (Channel 4 Digital Content Commissioner), Joe Grace (Senior Producer Warner Bros) and Matt Campion (Creative Director Spirit Media). She is one of Mercury Theatre’s Playwrights 2021/22, a member of the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew 2021, and as well as working on her next solo show ‘GREEDY’, she is also currently adapting the stage play of Algorithms with Rooks Nest Entertainment.
Sadie Clark said, “When writing Algorithms I wanted to disrupt the status quo: to put a bisexual character centre stage but without the associated harmful stereotypes and myths. I wanted to write something with a tongue in cheek rom com feel from a bisexual perspective. At its core this play explores the feeling of being both too much and never enough. Whilst that is likely to be a feeling familiar to many, it can manifest in a distinctive predicament for many bisexual people: not feeling gay enough versus not feeling straight enough. Of course, we are neither gay nor straight. But neither are we a mix of the two. It’s rather like having your foot in the door of two different parties, and never feeling truly welcome at either. It is the feeling of being both and neither at the same time. And it can be exhausting.”
Algorithms was developed on the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab and longlisted for the Tony Craze Award (2018). It sold out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 and won the TV Foundation’s Netflix supported ‘Stage to Screen’ New Voice Award (2020), followed by sell-out runs at the Pleasance London and Soho Theatre just before the pandemic. This run is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Algorithms is at Soho Theatre 6th – 11th December 2021.