SOMETHING strange is happening, something disturbing, say York company Out Of Character in Less Than Human, this week’s production at the York Theatre Royal Studio.
After their sold-out November 2017 show about Victorian freak shows and mad doctors, Objects Of Terror, they are collaborating once more with the Theatre Royal, whose associate director, Juliet Forster, again directs the new piece.
Less Than Human plays out against the backdrop of Planet Earth having less to give but its inhabitants taking more. In this struggling world of diminishing resources, humanity is forced to wrestle with the true cost of survival. What does it mean to be truly human? Are some lives worth more than others? Who decides who lives and dies? A question that suddenly has a new urgency and prescience amid the rise of Coronavirus.
As evolving technologies offer new forms of “human being”, is there still hope for a bright future…or do some people have to pay the price, the play asks.
Out Of Character’s company of artists and performers brings together people who use or have used mental health services. Their bold, creative and darkly comedic approach to making theatre aims to stir both the mind and the heart.
The company won the Excellence in Equality and Cultural Diversity Prize at the 2018 York Culture Awards. Audiences on social media have described their work as compelling, deeply affecting, intense, beautiful, clever, articulate, challenging, powerful, poignant and thought-provoking.
Out Of Character’s previous shows included Tales From Kafka in July 2010, Henry IV in May 2012 and More Tales From Kafka in November 2014.
Less Than Human runs from Thursday to Saturday (March 12 to 14) at 7.45pm nightly. Tickets cost £10, concessions £8, on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.