Review: Cookie Jar, The Space online

A short and sharp look at how far technology can invade into our lives, Cookie Jar is streaming via The Space

“Layla on”

Unintentionally something of a companion piece to recent TV show The Capture, Kiran Benawra’s new play Cookie Jar also delves into the murky depths of deepfakes, posing ever-pertinent questions about data security, online privacy and just how much unscrupulous companies can get away with by hiding things in the terms and conditions we so blithely tick without ever reading.

The play is set in the world of Cookie Jar Media, the entertainment branch of a vast big tech company who are in damage limitation mode as one of their presenters has just died by suicide. We open with her replacement – newcomer Cam – meeting her new boss, the bombastically awful Jupiter, but it soon becomes clear that there’s complicated trouble afoot in this company.

Without giving too much away, there’s a fascinating probe into the way AI can be used, exploited even, and the consequences of doing just that. And Bettina Paris’ direction leans into that with an intriguing framing to the play. At just an hour and with such weighty themes as are presented here, there’s a slight sense that the play could benefit from a little more breathing room to marinate more, let its power develop.

As it is, there’s strong work from Amy Wallace and David Bibby, plus an impressively multi-roling Nadege Nguyen, Jadene Renee Prospere and Kathryn Bond. And Cookie Jar will certainly make you think twice before signing up to anything without have a little think about what you might be signing away.

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
Cookie Jar is livestreaming until 15th October

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