Reviews are in for That Is Not Who I Am at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
NOTE: This review contains spoilers.
Initially presented as a play by an up and coming playwright ‘Dave Davidson’, the show, which is really titled Rapture is by acclaimed dramatist Lucy Kirkwood. Confused already? It hasn’t even started. Billed as a conspiratorial thriller in the age of government surveillance, the show centres on a young couple who meet on a Guardian blind date. They flirt, tease, and discuss conspiracy theories, before descending into a black hole of paranoia and objective truth.
Starring Priyanga Burford, Jake Davies and Siena Kelly, That Is Not Who I Am is directed by Royal Court Theatre Associate Director Lucy Morrison. The production will run until 16 July 2022 at the Royal Court Theatre.
Read a round-up of reviews for That Is Not Who I Am / Rapture at the Royal Court Theatre.
That Is Not Who I Am reviews
"This strange political mystery is a significant work"
"Kirkwood’s pseudonym and the play’s fake title – it’s really called Rapture – cleverly illuminates that this is a production about suspicion, misinformation and how alternate realities get constructed online."
"It’s 20 minutes too long, perhaps, and towards the end the tone tips towards melodrama. But otherwise, this is undoubtedly a majorly significant piece of writing. In exploring the way that rampant internet conspiracy theory-ism has disrupted our logical thought processes, Kirkwood is entering urgent territory. Because this isn’t just about the malleable nature of the truth online, but who is allowed to ask questions. "
"‘Dave Davidson’ play is enjoyably slippery"
"Weird marketing ploys aside, this play on the ambiguity of truth is pleasingly hard to pin down"
"The play is an enjoyably slippery, enthralling piece of work, albeit with a tiresome metatheatrical framework."
"A thriller that utterly fails to generate any tension"
"The blurb describes the piece as a “slippery thriller”, yet Kirkwood and the director Lucy Morrison utterly fail to generate any sort of tension."
"What’s frustrating is that there really is a play waiting to be written about surveillance capitalism. This isn’t it. Nor is there an interval, so the one hour and fifty minutes feels much longer. "
"A revelatory drama about identity theft is let down by its thriller plot"
"At its best, Lucy Morrison’s production spins between many modes of visionariness and fabrication. Here are lies by government and by lovers, crackpot theories (get rid of HIV by doing downward dog) and prescient fears. Mental disturbance merges with proportionate anxiety"
"As a doomed couple, Jake Davies and Siena Kelly are exceptionally natural and nuanced, shrugging in and out of affection, daily concern, apocalyptic alarm."
"All is not what it seems in tricksy thriller about truth and power"
"One play reveals another in a tangled web that pits the Home Office against two Guardian blind-daters"
"That Is Not Who I Am is a clever front for Rapture, a brilliantly tricksy new production by Lucy Kirkwood."
"A heady production with stellar performances, Rapture is a thriller, a trickster, and an absolute romp."
"A slippery thriller"
"Davies and Kelly have a winning chemistry, their physical passion for each other glueing them together even as their lives come unstuck during the isolation of Covid. Still, it's not quite enough to make this paranoid pair entertaining company for this play's one-hour 45-minute running time. This play is billed as a thriller, but the fact that we know how their anti-surveillance, anti-government mission is going to end means it often feels ponderous rather than tense."
"Cyber thriller is more mess than mystery"
"The Royal Court teased us with the promise of a premiere by an ‘unknown’, but the end result is not the biting satire it thinks it is"
"At its best the Royal Court gives us the inside-scoop on life in Britain today. But for all the inventive comedy at work here, and a salient core point about the difficulty of discerning the truth, in modern life, as in art, the net effect is inconsequential."
"The piece certainly asks the valid question as to how power can be held to account if the powerless can be easily discredited, legitimate grains of truth lost amid piled-on supposition"
"After all the hype, a damp squib for the silly season."
"Knotty interrogation of truth in fake news era"
"Urgent, unsettling thriller stands up to scrutiny despite the questionable artifice of its widely publicised gimmick"
"Director Lucy Morrison fills the play with unspoken menace. Many scenes feel warmly intimate, even hopeful on the surface, but precise deliveries and furtive glances suggest something awful gathering behind the scenes. "