As a young group are abducted from the comfort of their homes, Extro-Terrestrial explores themes around communication (and lack thereof) in a comedy sci-fi experience. Fun and insightful, this play exaggerates the opposing sides of social interaction, getting us inside the head of an introvert and providing a lesson on how to talk to others.
Extroverted individuals get their energy from socialising with others, and are generally seen as bubbly and spirited. Introverts, on the other hand, get their energy by being alone, and often need to recuperate from spending time in large social groups. I would consider myself an introvert, and with that background, I really enjoyed the fun this play pokes at the extremities of the two.
It tells the tale of five socially-awkward people who find themselves in a strange space, soon realising they have been abducted by curious aliens. As these seemingly random and unrelated individuals begin to interact, conversations – over topics such as the pronunciation of ‘scone’, and whether it is a crime to put the milk in a cup of tea first – all begin to bond the characters for their duration on the ship. (For the record, I put the milk in before the water, and it certainly tastes better!)
In this sci-fi themed show, the use of lighting was a strong point. Three large panels and several white boxes are all the set they need, because coloured lights create a futuristic, alien feel (and make for a good disco too). The sparse and white space also serves well to strip the characters of their home comforts.
Unfortunately, I felt the show wasn’t quite polished, and my main criticism would be the amount of chaotic dialogue which happens on stage. At points it made sense – yes, people often talk over one another, and it can be good to show the disorder or panic which the performance often includes. Yet when it happens too often, I feel like I’m missing conversations, and the effect becomes quite the opposite.
This was certainly a fun piece, which has a lot of potential if it's made a little tidier. An enjoyable show nonetheless – the energy on stage really brought the performance to life, and the actors were clearly dedicated to their roles. Quirky and slightly awkward, Extro-Terrestrial will relate to anyone who has tried to sneak out of a party.