Pleasance Courtyard (Baby Grand), Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
The tragi-comic Algorithms introduces the bisexual Bridget Jones for the online generation. Developed on the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab and longlisted for the Tony Craze Award 2018, Algorithms is a hilarious and touching new one woman play, written and performed by Sadie Clark (longlisted 4Stories, Channel 4 new-talent initiative) and directed by Madelaine Moore (Ladykiller, Coconut). It follows an algorithm writer for an online dating site as she searches for love, happiness and satisfaction in a world defined more and more by online interactions.
Brooke has it all: the job, the flat, the girlfriend - that is, until it all goes tits up just before her 30th birthday. Between stalking her friends on social media and comments from her overbearing mother, hapless Brooke is well aware of what life is supposed to look like. So, she heads online looking for answers and gives the science of love – online dating – a chance. This is a play for anyone who has ever wondered why they feel so lonely when connecting with others is meant to be easier than ever.
Called the ‘compare and despair’ phenomenon, it is easy to get caught up in today’s curated world where Instagram photos are staged and filtered, making us think that everyone else’s lives are much more fun, sorted and happy. With motivational quotes and self-help techniques proliferating, even being happy in modern society comes with its own pressures.
A relatable story addressing universal issues of mental health, body image, loneliness and self-acceptance through a contemporary voice, Algorithms is a refreshing piece representing bisexual identity onstage without it defining the story. While recent studies have revealed bisexuals make up around half of the Lesbian-Gay-Bi community, they are still regarded as the ‘invisible minority’. It has been found that only 48% of bisexual women are ‘out’ compared with 86% of lesbian women.
Sadie Clark comments, When writing Algorithms I wanted to disrupt the status quo: to put a bisexual character centre stage but without the associated harmful stereotypes and myths. I wanted to create a bisexual character whose sexuality was fairly incidental to the story - a ‘universal’ character whose story lay in the complicated business of simply being human. The show is about searching for connection and happiness in an online world that’s constantly exposing you to the perfectly-curated, filtered versions of your peers’ lives. At its heart it asks: why do we feel so lonely when connecting with others is meant to be easier than ever?