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Algorithms | Park Theatre

Algorithms is the debut play from writer and performer Sadie Clark. Directed by Madelaine Moore, it is a wonderfully hilarious whirlwind of a show that follows Brook, a 29-year old, trying to find her 'rom-com love' whilst working at Slide Hustle, an online dating app. Self-described as 'bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation', Clark truly has the potential to become the next big thing, both as a writer and performer. Akin, although more likeable, Algorithms has the wit and charm of Fleabag. 

Clark has a vibrant energy that makes her performance compelling, even during minimal moments. Drawing the audience in with her words, Clark can make the simple act of sending a WhatsApp message thrilling, drawing gasps from the audience. The show, and Clark, brings the audience into her world, and we feel her pain, joy, desperation and love just as deeply. Creating situations that we've all experienced in some manner, Algorithms becomes a relatable journey as one searches for love. Excellently acted, Clark manages to play with the audience's emotions in her turbulent and ever-dramatic portrayal of being unloved, constantly judged, and worried about turning thirty, with scattered softer moments of vulnerable shining through. 

The show touches upon the effects of social media on one's mental health in a rather powerful and well-acted overwhelming rant, that will doubtlessly strike a chord in every person who uses any social media platform. Clark shows us both the positive and negative implications that putting oneself on display can cause, whether it's the hilarious accidental inappropriate photos being sent on her office email, or the heartbreaking moments when her potential matches inevitably ghost her. 

Clark also addresses several other issues, although briefly, such as racism, sexism, fat shaming, and homophobia, highlighting how normalised these themes are in everyday interactions. Although often played off as jokes and resulting in laughter, these moments stand out in the grand scheme of the show - particularly so with a wholesome and full circle moment with the audience in the end. 

The set design is minimal with a glitter streaked backdrop and a couple of wooden boxes providing a cheery environment. The lighting (Jennifer Rose) and sound design (Nicola T. Chang) enhances the show, with each creating a rather immersive world. With the notifications vibrations, typing and dramatic music helping set the scene, the dimming of lights for the woods, and the pulsating colourful lights when using the Slide Hustle app. 

Algorithms is a refreshingly humorous take on self-doubt, anxiety and depression that social media causes, mixed with a quarter life crisis. Peppered with funny anecdotes, pop culture references, a hint of karaoke and a great performance, the show is on its way to becoming a comfort watch for this generation. Algorithms runs at Park Theatre until 11th May - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Ali Wright


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