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Sacred and Profane | The Space Theatre

Sacred and Profane, written and directed by Samantha Gray, is a hilarious show about the complexities of human connection, power and love through AI and online harassment. The show explores how far people are willing to go to get what they want through three interweaving storylines. Nancy and Stella are recently unemployed and are trying to earn money, Lad and his Boss are trying to contain an online threat, Mary and Lad navigate an early stage romantic relationship. All of these plots are overseen by Cash, an AI personality who is determined to guide lost lovers to happiness. 


Jazzie Ricks (Stella) and Athena Zacharia (Nancy) have an intriguing storyline, and the two have good chemistry. The subtle manipulation through the guise of friendship, feminism and understanding is played out really well and it's interesting to see the power dynamics constantly shifting. Ricks has a wild charm as Stella, whilst Zacharia brings a harder edge to Nancy, particularly in later scenes. However, she also manages to contrast this with a more tortured and vulnerable performance when certain secrets have caught up with her. 


Emma Von Schreiber is delightful as Mary, and makes an impact despite revealing little about her personal life. Schreiber brings a rush of warmth to the play, adding another hilarious layer. Stanley Karikari as Lad has a flair for comedy, with an endearing awkwardness. Yet it's his more moving moments of being genuine and letting his emotions get the best of him that helps Karikari really shine in the role. The stand out performances comes from Ben Felton as Cash, the AI guide. Felton is revolutionary in the role, with his cheery and eerily undetermined robotic human persona. Interacting with the audience, and demanding attention in his captivating stage presence, the show would not be the same without him. 



The staging (Samantha Gray) is well thought out. Utilising the large theatre well, the actors use the entire space, even being part of and performing amongst the audience. By placing an office space completed with shelves, desks and a globe at one end of the stage for Boss and Lad, the dates between Mary and Lad in the centre, and using the theatre door as a base for Nancy and Stella, the play feels quite immersive. There's a sense of a sports match viewing when multiple storylines occur at the same time, causing the audience to rapidly turn heads to continue enjoying the show. The use of green lighting to illuminate Cash, video projection to help set scenes, and a well chosen soundtrack helps to stimulate a visual element to the show. A wonderful use of physical theatre towards the finale has each character moving in slow motion with a defining prop, denoting their character's biggest deception, creating a powerful scene. 


The show, whilst using a comedic tone, achieves its mission to remind the audience about the implications that online connections can cause. Toying a fine line between fantasy and reality, the show plays with moments that the audience can relate to, and slowly raises the momentum and personal stakes. Sacred and Profane is laced with comedic genius as brilliant themes are explored through a series of interesting character motives, and relationships. Sacred and Profane is currently playing at the Space Theatre until the 27th of April. For tickets and more information, you can follow the link here.


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Gifted tickets in return for an honest review

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