Minefield review: Dark media satire for the Instagram age

Dublin Fringe Festival: Clare Monnelly’s stealthy new play is a story of online shaming and incel revenge attacks

Minefield: a dark satire on politics, performance and bad influencers. Photograph: Kyle Cheldon Barnett

Minefield: a dark satire on politics, performance and bad influencers. Photograph: Kyle Cheldon Barnett

 

MINEFIELD

Black Box, Smock Alley Theatre
★★★★☆
While left liberals and the alt right are not comparable, one sociologist recently put it, “they are compatible”: those online cycles of goading and outrage need two to tango. Clare Monnelly’s stealthy new drama gives some teasing shape to that conundrum, in which a story about social media, public shaming and fatal consequences gathers in complexity and acerbic insight.

When Joe (Monnelly), an influencer exasperated by casual sexism, exposes one drunken advance, a life is blown-up in the aftermath and she becomes the victim of an incel revenge attack. Now recovering off grid (where Naomi Faughnan’s effective design routinely shudders with projections), she meets the friendly Jack (Jamie O’Neill), full of conversation and social missteps (“It’s a minefield”). There may be more twists than necessary in what becomes a dark satire on politics, performance and bad influencers, a Network for the Instagram age, but the most arch is how compatible – and even comparable – these two shifting personalities may become.

Runs as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival until Sunday, September 22nd