My praise goes to any creative producing work in this climate. It’s a tough gig. It is hard to organise, execute and deliver. Unfortunately, this production concludes this too. Public Domain sets out to confront important themes of today, with the focus of our increasing digitalized world and depthlessness of our postmodern society. However, the concept and form clash, as it is more obviously ambitious in comedic reach than anything else.
Undeniably, Francesca Forristal and Jordan Paul Clarke are committed to their art form. Unapologetic and confident, what is lost in content, is made up for in their dedication to the delivery. The downfall of this piece lies mainly in the music and lyrics themselves, seemingly being predictable, unsophisticated, and unflattering. Reels of lyrics are sung, one after the other, without much thought to pace, tone, or musicality. The rhythm is discombobulated in order to fit the flow of the verbatim text, and words are emphasised in songs that have no depth behind them besides… hitting a high note?
I wince and squint at the lack of accountability that is held within the piece too. A line sung is, ‘first lockdown was a blessing’. Was it? It feels insensitive and unnecessary to generalise about a horrific time for many. Following on from this, Influencers are branded as dim, egotistical and arrogant, when in actuality, there are plenty of people with followings promoting sustainability, female empowerment, inclusivity, mental health awareness and so on. It felt lazy and oblivious to the reality of social media. Dare I say, it seems like an easy target to stereotype, just to get a few laughs.
The use of verbatim is definitely the redeemable aspect of this show, and with a more refined message and revised score, this piece could definitely have potential. But for now, this feels like a first draft for an Edinburgh gig, rather than a polished production for a paying audience.
Public Domain livestreams 15th and 16th January. An encore stream will be available to view from Tuesday 19 – Sunday 24 January at this link
Photo: The Other Richard