Mark Thomson attempts to impress in this hectic, high energy performance aiming to illustrate the problems facing a youth on the cusp of adulthood in our increasingly digital age.
Written with input from the young actors themselves through a series of workshops, Snowflake showcases its cast in the writing as well as on the stage. The actors are the show’s biggest credit, a team bursting with talent who really do bring to life the dissatisfaction, Facebook comments and anxiety they themselves helped to write. Centring on Jax and her inability to cope with her fast-paced life, the script bounces between themes of mental health, social media and sex in a chaotic attempt to bring together the inspiration drawn from each cast member. The show is cluttered and messy, it seems one key focus is barely developed before another one is thrust upon us.
However, this overcrowding only adds to the atmosphere of the show as a whole, mimicking the fast-paced paranoia and panic that invades Jax’s own mind, as well as being consistent with the constant barrage of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat notifications the characters are victim to. Speaking from a millennial point of view, I get what Thomson and the cast have tried to create here: a play which speaks to the hectic and muddled lives of those of us attempting to become independent adults in a social media haze where the world never sleeps – so how could we?
The opening line rings in the ears throughout: “Millennials often think of themselves as special snowflakes”, as the Baby Boomers say. A generation less resilient and less able to cope with the increasing demands placed on them by the world for an ever-shrinking reward. No, “Snowflake” does not act as an endearing argument for the 2010’s generation of adults; it isn’t meant to. What it does instead, is act as a stark, fast-paced dramatization of what it’s like to be thrown into the modern world without a life-jacket whilst the sharks are circling; even if it is a show the Boomers can’t quite understand.
Words: Emily Hay
Snowflake by Mark Thomson, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 2-28 (not 15, 22), 1pm