Anna X at The Lowry
My ticket requests a specific arrival time-slot; the bar is open to purchase, but drinks to be consumed in your seat; the safety curtain is in until the start of the performance; the programme production team credits include a COVID-19 Monitor. We’re not fully back to normality, but heading in the right direction. After months of silence, it feels so good to be sat in The Lowry’s Lyric auditorium, eagerly awaiting an evening of live theatre.
Anna X is a powerful story of a chance meeting, love and living in the techno world. Joseph Charlton’s script is sharp and witty, introducing us to Anna, a 25 year old curator, and Ariel, the 32 year old CEO of an exclusive dating app, both outsiders to New York’s societal elite. They have the looks and the money and know how to make the most of both in a hedonistic whirlwind of freedom; a whirlwind that steadily subsides as their relationship blossoms, but is never far away to whip up a storm. Daniel Raggett’s direction, along with the impressive video wall, take us through the highs and lows of this emotional journey, snapping from one moment to the next in an instant. The settings are calm, blindingly bright, dizzily disorientating, loud and silent, echoing the emotion of each scene played out. Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwan take on the main roles of Anna and Ariel, drawing us into the highs and lows of their relationship. Both offer balanced, powerful performances as well as versatility of accent and demeanour with their portrayal of the smaller characters they meet along the way.
In this world of live for the moment, Anna X takes those moments, lures you in and then leaves you to consider the consequences. This may be a play for the Insta generation, the WhatsApp communicators, but above all it is for all those who just want to get out and share an experience with others face-to-face.
Welcome back to live theatre!
Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online.
Lyric Theatre, Lowry: Aug 11th – 14th 2021
Published: 12-Aug-2021 (6306)