EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

User Not Found

at Traverse Theatre

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Terry O’Donovan invites us to reflect on death in the digital age.

Image of User Not Found
Photo: Justin Jones

What happens to our online presence when we’re no longer here? Dante or Die explore bereavement in the digital age, in their contemporary piece User Not Found. As part of The Traverse’s festival season, the sight specific performance takes place in Jeelie Piece café, allowing the audience to connect and share the interactive experience together. The show aims to open up discussion within the audience and with loved ones. How do our social media accounts reflect our true lives? What privacy will we have once we’re gone? Would you want to keep or delete your accounts?

Terry O’Donovan connects with the audience of cafe-goers in a raw performance. A real person, he is experiencing the grief of a loved one he already lost. It’s as if he is speaking from the heart; the script is eloquent and beautiful with moments of laughter. After nine years together, Luka left Terry, but now he has really gone and Terry is left with the responsibility of controlling his social media. Everyone is given headphones and a smartphone, and subsequently are invited to experience his life and loss through his messages, tweets, images, and taste in music. Terry observes others, gives them a name, wonders what are their lives like? It’s a simple idea well executed, for everyone in that cafe has a smartphone that holds more information about us than anyone will ever know. Dante or Die explore how we can stay connected, even as we sit alone in a cafe, listening to waterfalls. But how real is that connection?

The location is crucial to the performance as you’re sharing a table with other cafe-goers. You can see when they laugh, when they cry and when they nod in agreement. We go through the emotions together in this impressive digital performance. This performance will affect everyone differently, as we have our own experience of a lost loved one. Would you want to hold the memories close to you – keep evidence of their existence and the life they lived – or remove the triggers? User Not Found will perhaps reveal something you haven’t thought about before.