Secret Thoughts @ Omnibus Theatre (AI Festival) Review

We’ve slowly made the transition into a more AI-centric world, a world where we etch out the rule book that ensures man and machine live side by side reciprocally, rather than find ourselves at constant loggerheads. It’s a normality now to see the things we think about emerge digitally in some sort of shape or form. We’ve seen engineers work to make technology sentient, conscious energies on a par with humans – but can this ever be possible? Questioning ‘consciousness’ and how this differentiates us from machines, Secret Thoughts welcomely enters us into what evidently is a transformational time.

A chequered board floor pattern perfectly positions writer and lecturer Helen (Emma Wilkinson Right) and technological thought leader Ralph (El Anthony) as they intellectually battle it out, chess-like, to reach some sort of common ground. Helen gauging the attitudes of creative minds attuned to noting down consciousness with ease, who challenges attempts to mimic this – wider implications of this being the ‘Writers Guild of America’ strikes presently taking place in LA as they battle AI’s increasing role within the creation of works. Ralph, a logical – methodical thinker is devoid of emotion, everything explained in mechanical terms and therefore reducing the human experience to solely basic instincts. Their alternate perspectives the dramatic tension that pushes the story along. There’s a capacity to delve deeper into this fascinating point within our existence that we’re in. David Lodge bravely grapples the mammoth task of starting to understand our reality well, Helen and Ralph symbols of the two sides of the AI spectrum that debate humanity’s evolution, Paloma Jacob-Duvernet directs a confined yet expansive piece fearless in its pursuit to explore love, grief, curiosity and more.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Secret Thoughts was shown from Tuesday 4th until Sunday 9th July 2023 at the Omnibus Theatre as part of this year’s AI Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop