Publicity Designer: Ciaran Walsh

Mojave is a stunningly filmic piece of theatre that brings together nostalgia for the early days of the Internet, the fun of 90s slacker comedies and the quirkiness of rural America to delightful effect.

“Unlike anything I’ve ever seen at the ADC”

The combination of Jonathan Ben-Shaul’s movement choreography, Louis Norris’s cinematography, and the treat of Christian Hines’s live DJing create an atmosphere onstage unlike anything I’ve ever seen at the ADC. Ben-Shaul’s movement sequences and Hines’s mixes create a tangible sense of montage, bringing the whole cast together to brilliantly transcend spatiotemporal boundary as Godfrey repeats the monotony of daily routine. Norris’ cinematography adds layers of perspective, as does Chris Lazenbatt’s stage design. Enclosed and open spaces are imaginatively demarcated – I particularly enjoyed the moment the screen was lifted, clearly revealing the vastness of the Mojave desert, and the awe-inspiring symbolism of the phone-booth’s existence. The technical team have collated their talents to create a 4-dimensional world on stage that is impressively evocative and intelligible.

For a devised piece of theatre, the characterisation of the cast was brilliantly detailed. The talented five-strong ensemble fluidly transform into a mass of hilarious and highly unique characters. Harry Redding’s Godfrey is fabulously expressive, even whilst ‘letting the phone ring a long time for an answer,’ and we are completely enamoured with him as he obsesses over the mysterious phone-booth. Emma Corrin’s Lorene is reminiscent of Frances McDormand’s Marge in Fargo, very funny and undeniably sweet in her quirkiness. Joe Sefton has his star turn as a sassy, monotonous, consumer satisfaction line operation, and Adam Mirksy has his as the adorable Scottish teenager, Kevin Ross. Shimali De Silva brings great energy as the boundlessly enthusiastic Dennis - indeed, all the characters infect us with their innocence and excitement at the possibility of human connection through technology.

A weaker element for me was the sequence of different phone calls in the second half, as the phone-booth is achieving cult status around the world. A testament probably to the difficulty of discovering humour in improvised phone conversation, in a necessarily awkward and particular context, the dialogue occasionally fell into the trap of relying too heavily on stuttered repetition or on easy foreigner tropes.

Nonetheless, the enthusiasm and positivity of MOJAVE left me with a renewed sense of joy at the incredible possibilities of the digital age, and excitement at the thought of seeing more vividly sensuous theatre at the ADC sometime soon. If you want to see something completely unique that makes the most of the diverse talents of the Cambridge theatre scene, and to be thoroughly entertained, this is really not one to miss

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