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Remote review at Camden People’s Theatre, London – ‘clever and intriguing’

Angela Clerkin in Remote at Camden People's Theatre, London. Angela Clerkin in Remote at Camden People's Theatre, London.
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Remote offers its audience “freedom through choice”. Think Facebook, Uber and Amazon rolled into one. Designed “to help you be more like people like you”, it’s a theatrical choose-your-own-adventure story, two years in the making.

In terms of format Remote is about as traditional as it gets with game-makers Coney – the audience is seated in rows and there are performers in role.

While the show contains amore than a few interactive moments, there is no requirement for everyone to speak up. Choices in the narrative are made by raising a card. The majority’s preference carries – at the beginning of the show at least, the audience is all in this together.

Making decision after decision is exhausting though, no matter the stakes, and it’s a challenge to inject pace and drive into proceedings. A few times it feels like ideas are shown rather than interrogated, and the ending that the audience arrives on this occasion feels tentative – it’s all suspiciously light and calm. But then, it’s supposed to be a fable told by an algorithm to reassure unpredictable humans. No wonder everything turns out fine and dandy.

Full of jokes and science fiction tropes, Remote is clever and intriguing – it’s fascinating to see what happens when your suggestions are incorporated into the piece and just as telling when your choice loses – a minority opinion silenced.

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Verdict
Intriguing interactive fiction exploring small politics, big algorithms and thwarted consensus
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