Glitch at the Vault Festival

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For context, I had already agreed to attempt my first review of a recording of a show specifically for ‘Glitch’, this was before we went into full pandemic mode. Now, in an attempt to convince my brain that something is normal, I am writing that review. I’ll be honest, my brain isn’t 100% buying it, but ‘Glitch’ has provided a lovely distraction from the relentless news cycle.

Written and performed by Krystina Nellis, ‘Glitch’ is a semi-autobiographical show about Autism, grief, small towns and video games.  It was developed as part of the Soho Theatre Writers Lab and debuted at Vault Festival this year, before everything shut down.

As I am reviewing this based on a recording, I have the following caveats: (1) because of a bit of glare I was not always able to see Krystina Nellis’ facial expressions (2) there were a few moments where it was harder to hear the audio (mainly if someone sat near the camera shuffled about, but fortunately this didn’t happen too often).  So this feels like more of a partial review. However, if you would like the perspective of a reviewer that was in the room, I highly recommend checking out this review by Shanine Salmon https://viewfromthecheapseat.com/2020/03/09/glitch-vault-festival/

Despite the viewing limitations in terms of the video experience, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Glitch’. Krystina Nellis has written a deeply sympathetic and humorous monologue that doesn’t lean into Autism stereotypes. Kelly is awkward, and struggling to comprehend the big emotions that come with having a dangerously ill father. Does this make her the weirdo her small town brand her? Is there anything really wrong with being weird?

‘Glitch’ is a wonderful coming of age story, full of vivid scenarios and characters. Kelly takes us deep into the world of video game speed-running, something I knew nothing about before. Speed-runners use glitches in the games as shortcuts that help them get through a game as quickly as possible. While Kelly may not fit in with her hometown crowd, the speed-running world gives her somewhere to belong and friends that accept her. Instead of judgement she finds respect, and as a result she is better able to find her place in the world.

Directed by Callie Nestleroth, ‘Glitch’ shows Kelly in all her awkwardness, and it is this that makes her such a relatable and sympathetic character, one that is so much more than the labels others give her.

For a limited time only, the recording of ‘Glitch’ is available on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JoUuMDMs1c&list=PL7-dFeiXMil5bql_y3Yo0zpgjqrBMfvFG&index=17&t=0s

Not sure when it will be taken down, so probably best to watch asap if you plan to.

I hope everyone is keeping safe out there. These are strange times, it is OK to be anxious. It is OK to do nothing. It is OK to be really productive. There is no right way of dealing with this. Take care of yourselves.

I will be back in a day or so with the review of another show recording I’ve been sent. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught me, it is that there is no need to churn things out at the speed I did in the old world order. There is some liberation to be found in this world of confinement.

 

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