Gorgeous Avatar was my first full-length play, directed by Philip Howard at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, with a wonderful cast and team behind it. It’s the story of an internet love affair between two people who meet for the first time and find their fantasies and reality collide. It was inspired by hearing that a neighbour had ‘met’ an American girl online, and then met up in our village.
This was 2006, and things have moved on – these meetings are pretty common now, and I guess the rise of internet dating and social networking sites means people who start online relationships are no longer seen as quite so odd! The word ‘Avatar’ has also ‘trended’, thanks to James Cameron’s 3D film. So maybe I was just ahead of my time <smile> <question mark> <exclamation mark>. The play also includes some experiments with conveying internet language on stage. Internet culture as a whole is a tricky issue for contemporary drama – how do you make people who spend large chunks of time sitting on their bums, merely waggling their fingers, interesting? Shakespeare never had that problem…
Cast: Pauline Knowles (Amy), John Kazek (Rafi), Una McLean (Rose), Patrick Hoffman (Dan). Composer: Jon Beales; Choreographer: Andrew Panton; Designer: Mark Leese; Video Artist: John Alder; Lighting: Kai Fischer; Voice and Dialect Coach: Ros Steen; Director; Philip Howard.
Photography: Douglas Robertson