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The Theatreguide.London Review

Keep Watching
New Diorama Theatre   Spring 2019

Keep Watching by Jesse Fox takes a gentle dip into the shadowy world of surveillance. It's not a world that worries Kat (Beatrice Scirocchi) And why should it? The quick action of surveillance officer Jo (Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo) spotting on a screen someone trying to rob Kat foils the robbery.

Surveillance keeps Kat secure, comfortable and wanted. She even invites Jo, a stranger before the robbery, to keep more of an eye on her.

Kat is lonely, her work as an A-and-E nurse leaves her drained, and she is trying to persuade her brother Zak (George Evans) to help her organise care for their father. She is more than keen to have the reassuring watchful contact of Jo.

And this makes Kat a fairly unique figure. At a time when there is immense distrust of institutions Kat shows a remarkably naive trust in Jo. She isnít even slightly concerned that Jo seems to know a great deal about her. Surely if she comes to grief it's her own fault?

Although intended to be critical of surveillance this play ends up being politically rather tame. There is nothing that compares with the massive evidence of such activity being abused by the powerful, from the blacklisting of employees, to the undercover police who have had sexual relationships and children with their political targets before suddenly disappearing back into their own world, leaving their victims traumatised.

Instead this play has surveillance operations simply rescuing people from criminals, implying that if there is any hitch with this, then it is our own fault for not paying attention.

Keith McKenna

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Review -  Keep Watching - New Diorama Theatre 2019

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