Welcome to the stimulating world of Feed where emotions are the currency and your passions and fantasies will be indulged… for a price. After the sell-out successes of The Marked and The Fantasist, Theatre Témoin return, bringing their vibrant visual style to the world of click-bait culture, fake news and cyber gluttony.
A Palestinian woman takes a striking photograph of a boy. A journalist steals the image for an unrelated article. A blogger is moved to tears by the article and posts a tribute. An SEO specialist makes the blogger’s tribute go viral. Now all four are caught in a media storm, in a whirring story that moves from reality into dark fantasy as the algorithms spin to deliver ‘what people want’.
Using the incisive and gleeful spirit of bouffon, Theatre Témoin explore the dark absurdity of Today’s media landscape and what capitalism has turned it into. Aided by Mentoring Dramturg Chris Thorpe, Feed looks at how algorithms and capitalism are shaping the information we receive and consume online and how this information is, in turn, shaping us.
Theatre Témoin is committed to engaging communities in the process of making their work and have conducted numerous R&D workshops with young people during its development. Feed is a co-production with The Lowry and The Everyman Cheltenham and is supported by Arts Council England and The Charles Irving Trust.
Director Ailin Conant comments, “When we began working on Feed, it was in the wake of Brexit and Trump and we thought we were going to be doing a piece on echo chambers, fake news, and social division. The more we researched, however, the more we realised that Feed was actually about capitalism; it’s a play about the attention economy and how our focus as consumers—our engagement, our emotional arousal, and the time we spend with our eyeballs drinking in content—is the greatest commodity on the current market. This means that anything that provokes emotion—humour, scandal, outrage, sensationalism—rises to the top while nuance and deep thinking are pushed out the picture. Fake news and social divisions are a part of that, but they are a tangential by-product of a much darker and more insidious thing and really only the tip of the iceberg.”
Feed is at Pleasance Dome (King Dome).