Could you look up from your phone and take in the view?

(Not now, but when you’re done with this review)

If you’re wondering why, it’s not my suggestion.

It’s performance poet Rose Condo posing the question.

 It seems all our empathy and compassion lags

When we’re preoccupied with Facebook, Insta and hashtags.

And so, the Empathy Experiment – what does that mean?

Rose spent twenty-four hours away from her screen.

Then to the fringe for a room full of adults

With whom to share her theory and results.

How best to present her finished research?

With warmth and good humour, and mainly in verse.

The science is flawed, but it’s mainly a vehicle

To suggest we take a break from this cynical

World we take with us in a pocket device,

Look around, smell the roses, see if their nice.

Could you take ten seconds to look into someone’s eyes?

Rose says “Try it, you will be surprised.

In that enforced moment of quiet reflection

Without a ‘like’ button there’s a stronger connection.”

Who knows if it helps to switch off for a whole day?

But Rose makes a compelling argument for stepping away

Once in a while. Think about life in another’s shoes.

Instead of tweeting and arguing about Fake News.

It may sound preachy, but the show’s a delight.

It’s on at the Kings arms for two more nights.

If you fancy a ticket, the link will show you how.

(Ok, that’s the review over. You can switch your phone off now)

Reviewer: Steven Ireland

Reviewed: 9th July 2019.

North West End Rating: ★★★★