Review: Teen love in cyberspace

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Actor Leon Cain
“I Love You, Bro”, by Adam Cass, directed by David Berthold for La Boite Theatre Company, at The Street Theatre until May 26. Bookings to 6247 1223.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.” Quite so, but Sir Walter Scott could never have imagined the entanglements of the main character in Melbourne playwright Adam Cass’s play, “I Love You, Bro”.

Leon Cain plays a 14-year-old boy, a self-proclaimed liar, who invents a sure way of escaping the crushing banality of life with his abused mum and her boyfriend Trevor.

Life online, he finds, is much more real than life and even death.

Likening himself to the 14-year-old Juliet of Shakespeare, he opens up with the eloquent language of the Bard, then gradually introduces the old people in the audience (he’s right enough there) to quite another language, that of online “chat”.

Along the way he “becomes” all the characters, including those he has invented to get himself out of the trap he sets himself after thrilling to some online sex with footie hero “Marky Mark”.

Cass has injected his play with a sense of inevitability that unfolds in the last moments of the play, but because of the lies, it’s not always easy to see what’s coming. Wisely, he cuts the story abruptly, leaving us to work out the consequences.

Structured in diary form, the play rapidly draws us into an enticing world full of provocative exhibitionism, exotic female spies, a serial killer and at least one person who comes back to life.

All totally improbable, maybe, but not the way it’s told by actor Leon Cain, who throws himself into all the characters with believable zest. Small wonder that he fluffed his lines once or twice—his character confuses himself at times.

Cass based this play on real events. It’s a terrifying view of love, cyberspace and what it’s like to be 14.

Don’t miss it.

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