#AdventwithClowns Day 22 – Anna X (Sky Arts / Now)

Emma Corrin and Nabhaan Rizwan star in the sparky Anna X, filmed this summer at the Harold Pinter Theatre

“Everyone is queer”

I didn’t make it to Anna X in the West End, self-isolation putting the kibosh on my plans but perhaps cognisant that many of us could be in the same situation (or not even willing to risk going to the theatre), Sonia Friedman Productions got the play filmed for inclusion in Sky Arts on Stage, a season celebrating the channel’s first anniversary of being free-to-air.

The show was programmed as part of the RE:EMERGE season – upcoming theatremakers given the West End treatment, indeed Joseph Charlton’s play was first seen at the fringe VAULT festival in 2019. And it makes the leap most successfully – courtesy of Tal Yarden and Mikaela Liakata’s video-centric design and assured direction from Daniel Raggett and Marcus Viner.

Anna X takes inspiration from the case of scam artist supreme Anna Sorokin, giving us our own Anna (Emma Corrin), a Ukrainian women who lands in New York fully loaded with a fake identity as a Russian heiress and art collector and takes it by storm. One of her key marks is Ariel (Nabhaan Rizwan), a software developer on the rise and the structure of the play follows their breathlessly intertwined monologues.

Split screens keep things dynamic; an intelligent script winds around examinations of the boundaries of social media in curating brands versus identities, plus the breathtaking fraud of it all; and both performers are really very good in sweeping us up in their parallel journeys. Recommended.

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