Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, until Sat 29 Aug 2015 @ 22:45

Imagine a reality show where there are no TV studios, no hosts, no scripts, and the contesters’ fate depends entirely on the viewers, who vote, comment and make decisions and suggestions through social networks. Such a scenario is the choice of the five competitors/actors in the theatre play #Realiti, performed in Italian with English supertitles by the Italian group BigTree. Each has decided to participate pushed by ultimate despair, looking for a last chance to make difference in their miserable lives. However, winning the prize requires way more than gaining the audience’s heart—it takes courage and sacrifice beyond anything seen on a TV screen.

The play cleverly comments on the paradox of Debord’s spectacle, on our ability to create entertainment by overexposing the most mundane things in life, while being unable to see and feel other people’s personal tragedies, even though such stories are constantly flooding us, through newscast, press and reality formats.

Despite the stereotyping of some of the characters (only made worse by the distinguishing symbols on their otherwise identical T-shirts), which may leave you unimpressed, the actors play their parts with a respectable amount of realism and theatrical irony.

On a technical level though, there is more work to be done. The English supertitles, which are screened behind the actors, are crooked due to some issue with the projector. Moreover, they are often hidden by the bodies of the performers, which makes them unreadable in half of the time. Nevertheless, this does not hold back what is an original and thought-provoking story, which will set you on edge until its jarring ending.