Teenagers. Who gets them? With their faces always stuck in their phones, they don’t see the real world, don’t know life beyond the screen.

That’s the impression from the outside looking in. But, Upstage Theatre Company’s ‘Chatroom’ explodes the myth of the teenage mind and skilfully shoves you into their world – the online vicious, nasty, petty, squabbling space that’s meant to be safe – but isn’t.

‘Chatroom’ innovatively opens up the world of the online ‘chatroom’ and shows to the audience: what it’s really like to be online. How niceness descends into nastiness, how well-meant comments can be misinterpreted, side-tracked, hijacked and used in hurtful, hateful ways.

Online, the world snowballs. Keyboard warriors with a cause. Vendettas clash with isolated individuals trying to find their way…or maybe their way out. But the chatrooms aren’t the place to be emo. Honesty, vulnerability: they’re the rich pickings of people with nothing better to do. Than cause harm. For a cause. Obvs.

“In these rooms, words are power.” It sums up life in a chatroom forum, or pretty much any discussion online. Who hasn’t had a Facebook comment mistakenly misunderstood and suffered the consequences? Online and IRL.

This is a brave, insight to teenage life right now – and the buttons people press to really push you over the edge. Recommended viewing for all parents – and their kids.  

Reviewer: Samantha Collett

Reviewed: 1st August 2019

North West End Rating: ★★★★