The Believers are but Brothers
Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush, London
Seen on January 31st, 2018
Reviewed by Jade Prince
This unique one-man show provides a hard hitting take on the social world in which we currently live in. Touching on topics such as terrorism, politics and resentment this performance is thought provoking from the onset. Even before entering the theatre, from just reading the programme, the cogs in my brain were set into motion. The main focus of this show is how three resented men from different walks of life with access to the internet rapidly have their lives changed to accommodate a radical point of view.
(DISCLAIMER – a lot will be revealed in this review so if you are wanting to see the show without any prior knowledge I recommend you stop reading. However if you don’t mind and are still intrigued, please continue reading!)
Let’s start off by saying this is unlike anything I have ever seen and unlike anything currently out there, 100% with the times and so relevant. It was a slight shock walking into the theatre and hearing the words ‘would you like to join our WhatsApp group to use during the performance?’. This is a unique part of this performance which really added to the topic. It emphasised the fact that everyone is in immediate connection and despite being in a room of say 50-odd people, we were all still completely anonymous. The only identification we had was the first name that would appear on the WhatsApp message if we decided to send one. That was really hard hitting for me, personally. The anonymity of everyone in the room was really felt when we were all asked to message the strangest thing we had seen on the internet. That brought up some strange things! I have to admit that at some points having the WhatsApp messages coming through was slightly distracting and I struggled focusing on what Javaad Alipoor was saying. With the messages coming through it was so difficult to determine what was real and what was scripted which demonstrated the world of fantasy and reality online.
The whole performance was so engaging. It felt like I was watching a documentary. I definitely came out feeling different in a strange way and with a changed view on the social media world. It was an education I believe everybody needs in relation to some of the topics it touched on regarding the type of information you put out online and the repercussion that may have. I do love a good piece that makes you think.
The show itself was very basic. Very raw. It was scripted but the way Javaad delivered the script made it feel like he was having a genuine conversation with you about something he is truly passionate about. There were no elaborate sets (although the set was very pleasing to look at), no extravagant lighting used. Just Javaad on a stage with a desk, a few computers, a microphone and a mesh screen for the projected images. That was another great aspect, having the media displayed in different ways. It wasn’t just an hour of Javaad talking at you.
This is one I would highly recommend and deeply believe that everyone would take something different from the show whether or not it is something that you have an interested in. Ticket prices range from £10-£17.50 and is running until February 10th. More information can be found at https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/the-believers-are-but-brothers/