600 people, a play written and performed by Alexander Kelly, is an extraordinary performance about one of the big questions many often ponder: “Are we alone in the universe?” The play is created by Third Angel, a theatre company based in Sheffield. I saw it performed in Theatre Deli on Saturday, July 13th 2019.
Obviously a play isn’t going to effortlessly answer one of the largest questions asked, which has been asked for god knows how long, but what it does do is leave you speechless, considering how terrifying both answers truly are.In this performance, Alex talks about various subjects, from “The Golden Record”, a record with many pictures and sounds, created for any intelligent lifeforms that can interpret the signal, to the evolution of man, to chimps inventing capitalism. The diverse nature of this comedy/lecture/play keeps the viewer hooked, and constantly asking a million questions.
The play grabs the viewer emotionally by telling the story of Voyager 1, a space probe launched by NASA in 1977, which still functions today, in 2019. Its mission is to explore the universe, photographing the wonders of our solar system (and beyond) and detecting if there really is anything or anyone else out there.
The design of the set is extremely simplistic, contrasting with the complexity of the thought behind the play. The set consists of one chair accompanied with a small table, four differently coloured balls and a mug placed upon the table. A projection shows behind Alex, displaying a variety of drawings of planets, aliens, monkeys, dolphins, Darth Vader, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The majority of the set isn’t much to look at, but by the time the play has started, the viewer is captivated, and completely forgets about the appearance of it.
Alex performs this play amazingly, it’s clear that he has a true passion for this topic, and delivers the intellectual subject matter in such a fun, light-hearted, friendly way, making the viewer feel a real connection with the performer. For a 65-minute lecture about physics, Alex definitely manages to keep it interesting.
To summarise, I think this was a fantastic play, and definitely worth the watch. The actor, the set, and the sound all fit in perfectly to the concept of the play, and I’d definitely recommend it. I might even have to see it again, so I can properly absorb all the information!