Director: Jenna Kelly
18th October 2017
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Chatroom, Jenna Kelly’s directorial debut at the The Dark Room. If you’ve never attended a show at this little gem of a theatre, do not be intimidated, it is a welcoming, friendly little nook with all the essentials like eft-pos and drinks – rock on up and enjoy yourself.
Anyway, Chatroom, I have to admit that I thought I might be a bit old to enjoy a teen internet chatroom drama, would I even understand their lingo? Well, I took a front row seat and felt like I was really part of the action, even though there really isn’t a lot of action. There’s a minimalist set, just the bare necessities which with good use of lighting and sound, works perfectly and does not detract from the strong, dialogue driven act.
I found myself really immersed in the chatroom conversation between these teens, all six parts delivered a compelling and believable act and expertly showed how quickly things can get out of hand under the cover of online aliases, with the group quickly splitting into a hero’s versus villains aesthetic. One actor’s delivery was perhaps slightly hampered by an overly rushed delivery of lines, hopefully just first night nerves, but the rest of their performance was well formed. Excellent characterisation by all actors brought teenage behaviour to life well, I low key had melancholy pangs for my (long) past teenage life.
Finn Davidson offered an exceptional performance as depressed teen Jim. His tender and subtle yet strong performance was awe-inspiring and just what was needed to handle the delicate issues of his character.
I commend Jenna Kelly on her directorial debut. Chatroom, is a thoroughly well delivered show for all to enjoy.