David Watson’s You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now is as much an experiment of form as it is an examination of the impact of technology on our lives.
Three actors (Rebecca Elise, Jack Reid and Rachel Ogilvy) take on a multitude of parts, almost running at times to keep up with the jump-cuts in Watson’s script. From a pair of daytime radio DJs to a father trying to understand his daughter; police rushing to the scene of a road accident to an old man propping up a bar with his dog at his feet: the cast have their work cut out, but cope admirably with the piece’s demands.
Initially, things are a little confusing as the action cuts from scene to scene. Once it hits its stride however, we see the different strands are all leading towards the same point, and are linked together by a web of technology. Sound and lighting are therefore appropriately used to add static cuts between scenes, with the cast providing their own radio play style sound affects and narration throughout, creating a strange and slightly disjointed mood. Rather than detract from things however, this serves to reinforce the themes of the piece: of how our lives are constantly dominated by snippets of briefly-caught information which we try to make sense of.
You Cannot Go Forward From Where You Are Right Now disappoints slightly with an ending which veers into science fiction territory – keeping its focus on the human condition throughout would have had a greater impact. However, as a clever and imaginative piece of of short theatre with an interesting premise, it is well worth setting the satnav for the Traverse Theatre and catching before it ends its run on 22nd October.