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‘Minority Report’– hits a lot of buttons with great set design but central character is distant…

‘Minority Report’– hits a lot of buttons with great set design but central character is distant…

This is a theatrical remake of a famous film based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, written by David Haig…

By Suman Bhuchar

CONDENSED to 90 minutes, this is a fast-paced sci –fi thriller directed by Max Webster (who gave us The Life of Pi) and this is set around the year, 2050.

It’s the 10th anniversary of neuro-scientist Julia Atherton’s (Jodie McNee) crime prevention strategy.

The basic premise is that your brain is pre-screened to see if you are capable of committing a crime and so in order to prevent you from doing so, it has to be nipped in the bud by arresting you and putting you in detention. This is termed Pre-Crime.

Minority Report’ opens with Julia at the front of the stage wearing plastic gloves with a white bucket, holding a human brain and in a wry joke tells the audience: “No it’s not Hamlet”.

Julia Atherton (Jodie McNee)

She is waxing on about the power of the brain and for the first time ever they are going to reveal how they check if your brain is pre-programmed to commit crime when shock horror – SPOILER ALERT – she becomes its victim.

Her speech is interrupted by a protestor, Fleming (Danny Collins) who is carted away by the security thugs in this new Utopia.

This sets off a chain of events where she has to prove she didn’t think violent thoughts but then ironically human emotion kicks in because naturally you feel angry and it may be expressed as wanting or thinking about, “murdering” someone.

Meanwhile, the futuristic world is depicted through AI (Artificial Intelligence) with some jokes about Alexa and Siri, while Julia’s AI companion David is entertainingly depicted by Tanvi Virmani.

The set design and music are technologically impressive – the taxi cab chase and crash is epic.

David/AI character (Tanvi Virmani) and Julia Atherton (Jodie McNee)

This is a tech heavy show with production design by Jon Bausor, video design by Tal Rosner, and lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun. The composing and sound design is by Nicola T Chang with movement and Intimacy Direction by Lucy Hind (who also did ‘Machinal‘ – see our and illusionist is Richard Pinner.

It’s beautiful, cold, blue and grey colours and has sleek clean lines created of steel or aluminium girders and cement with tube lights. (I wonder where is the vision of future buildings that resemble the Sistine Chapel or V&A in architectural form?)

Here begins the chase for Julia to clear her name and the overall message is that underneath all the scientific jargon, impressive word play and numbers – what we are really dealing with are time honoured conversations.

George (Nick Fletcher), Cast (Xenoa Ledgister-Campbell) Atheron (McNee)

Minority Report‘ features great visuals, illusions and music, but the arguments are all age old – the debate between nature versus nurture; jealousy versus love; upper class entitlement or have nots; security versus free will; activism and free will versus totalitarianism. There is a scene of Julia talking to an undocumented person who has been sex trafficked.

Julia is driven by the death of her twin sister to prevent crime and together with her PhD supervisor slash husband, George (Nick Fletcher) – who is driven by a desire to win her attention – they work to create a perfect solution to stop violence which is shocking when Julia learns
the truth.

It’s a stylish caper of chases, fast cars, climbing on roofs but you don’t feel the jeopardy or fear that Julia is in danger.
Acv rating: *** (out of five)

‘Minority Report’ by David Haig, from (April 20) to May 18 – Lyric
Hammersmith Theatre, Lyric Square, King St London W6 0QL.
Age guidance is 14 plus and do check content warnings

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture