There’s lots of potential at play in Snowflakes at the Park Theatre but it remains underexplored
“You’re just a job”
Perhaps inevitably, the ‘insult’ that is snowflake has been abused and misused so much that it says so much more about those who use it rather than those who it is intended to target (qv woke, PC, et al). Cancel culture is another term that gets bandied about with very little interrogation of what it actually means (and if it truly exists…) but in the universe of Robert Boulton’s Snowflakes, it very much does.
Positing a near-future world where Black Mirror-ish shenanigans rule the roost, Marcus and Sarah are contract killers who livestream their work, its extent (and finality) dictated by a voracious online audience. We meet them as they invade Tony’s hotel room, a controversial author accused of sexual assault, but it turns out justice and revenge prove to be trickier concepts to maintain under the glare of social media outrage.
Boulton’s script arguably spends too long on the set-up. It’s not so unique a scenario that it needs the whole first half devoted to it and Michael Cottrell’s direction doesn’t spark enough dynamism or comedy (although it being Sarah’s first job gets a decent laugh or two). And even with all this time, there’s still a frustrating lack of contextual detail about how the whole operation works, particularly in how clandestine its management appears to be.
A game cast give it their best – Boulton plays Marcus as full-on sadist, Henry Davis’ posh-boy ‘victim’ gives good desperation and Louise Hoare amps up the ambiguity of the wilful Sarah. But as Boulton’s script havers between society-wide declamations and personal vendettas, it fatally dilutes the impact of both positions. In fudging its targets – whether social justice warriors, sexual assault perpetrators or just outright sadists – these Snowflakes melt to nothing.