MODERATION is a double award-winning piece of student writing that debuts this week. Find out more about this unique and thought-provoking show...

What’s the play about? 

Moderation, written by Rebekah King, tells the story of two ex-social media moderators who meet again years after quitting their job when one decides to sue the company that exposed them to the traumatic material which left both with different psychological scars. The play has won two student writing awards and is being performed in the ADC Larkum Studio from 2nd-5th March.  

What has been unusual about the staging? 

A central challenge of staging this play has been that the actors are rarely allowed to touch the floor. One of the two unnamed protagonists (labelled simply ‘A’ and ‘B’ in the script) has developed a coping mechanism akin to the game ‘the floor is lava,’ and is only seen touching the ground in flashbacks. Director Jyothi Cross and actors Valeriia Gladkova and Emma Shen have had fun finding chairs and tables that don’t squeak and (hopefully) won’t collapse mid-show!  

Does this show suit the Larkum? 

The Larkum is a modest space, something the cast are hoping will make it an intimate and moving experience, though there is a sense of claustrophobia in this story too which seems appropriate for a studio of this size.  

How will the production convey changes in time and mood? 

The narrative switches back and forth between the half-remembered past and the characters’ present reality. Figuring out how to achieve this in a manner which is clear to the audience, has been part of the challenge. The play contains deliberate moments of tonal dissonance, since the life of a moderator is defined by jarring contrasts. Alongside switches in lighting and sound design, the play contains sudden changes in tone as gallows humour makes way for melancholy and, in moments, hope.  

How involved has Rebekah been? 

Writer, Rebekah King, has watched the rehearsal process from afar. “I don’t like to get under a director’s feet, but it does seem to be going well! I trust what Jyothi and the cast are doing, I can’t wait to see it brought to life.” Has the response to the play so far been what she expected? “It’s a strange feeling, hearing snatches of information from the rehearsal room and recognising bits and pieces from your imagination as they’re discussed and brought to life. Little things in the script that you had forgotten about become arguments and in-jokes, so that’s always fun to hear.” 

Has a table been found that doesn’t creak? 

You’ll have to come and see!

Moderation is performing at the ADC Theatre between Wed 2 and Sat 6 March at 8pm