Drone (3 stars)


A post-apocalyptic tale, compromised by technology

The setting for Drone couldn't be more fitting; stumbling along a lesser known street in the Cowgate, you pass under a bridge and enter an almost hidden theatre, taking your seat in a pared-down, dark room with a low ceiling. The walls are plastered with maps and defaced propaganda. It's a clever choice for a play where all the action is set in a bunker, giving it a sense of claustrophobia that helps the audience connect quickly with the characters, all of whom are brought to life through competent, un-indulgent acting.

Combined with some clever writing and plot turns, this almost instant immersion into the characters' world creates some wonderfully tense, hold-your-breath moments. However, the emotive human storylines are overshadowed by technology, with special effects and a talking computer given centre stage too often. Unexplained voiceovers and video playbacks spout beautifully poetic lines and a major revelation in a quietly spoken line is lost among the background noise. It's all a little loud and confusing, but with a few tweaks this has real potential.


The only survivors of a nuclear war, three good friends play a giant online computer in an underground bunker, hoping to reach the top of the leaderboard. But friendships last because no one talks about their secrets. And when a stranger makes them question their goal, their friendship fractures.

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