Engineer Theatre Collective – the devising company who tackle urgent contemporary issues with a combination of incisive research, fast-paced storytelling and genre-shifting collaborative creativity- return with Keep Watching, an unnerving and thrilling tale about modern society’s relationship with surveillance, and the impact of technology and consumerism on our personal privacy.
In 2019 we spend our whole lives being watched: whether by the government, private corporations or institutions we don’t yet know, our every move is being scrutinised through phones, computers, satellites, credit cards and devices.
But what if, instead of this multi-faceted, protean collection of algorithms, cameras, microphones and geo-tracking devices, we were being watched by a single, unrelentingly devoted person? How would we feel?
As Kat struggles to navigate the everyday financial, professional, social, romantic and familial issues which define the modern millennial, she gradually realises that her every move is being watched. After the initial shock of this discovery she begins to associate the sensation with comfort and security, getting dangerously close to falling in love with the idea.
The show has been written with inspiration from first-hand interviews with public sector workers and surveillance professionals, and valuable guidance from the UK’s premiere surveillance charity Privacy International.
Keep Watching will be written by Engineer’s co-artistic director Jesse Fox, directed by fellow co-artistic director Simon Lyshon and performed by company members George Evans and Beatrice Scirocchi and actress Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo, whose recent performance in The Convert at The Yong Vic was described by britishtheatre.com as “nothing short of extraordinary”.
Recreating an instantly recognisable modern British cityscape, Engineer will continue their track record of innovative directorial techniques by using sung voice to create an overarching and unsettling atmosphere of putative utopia, adding another layer of dramatic tension to the play’s ambivalent relationship to its subject matter.
Keep Watching is at New Diorama Theatre 2nd April to 4th May 2019.