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Cara and Di have a heart to heart about what Jack has done | Courtesy of Ikin Yum
Cara and Di have a heart to heart about what Jack has done | Courtesy of Ikin Yum
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'Four Minutes Twelve Seconds': Cyberspace, Shock, Suspicion

Picture of Chloe Kerr
Updated: 9 February 2017
‘Big Ian has named his son Ian too?’ James Fritz’s Olivier Award-nominated play takes us on a journey of emotions and makes us ask a lot of questions as we get acquainted with people dealing with the aftermath of something ‘Jack’ has done. In this modern age, how long does it take for your life to be completely changed? In this case, only four minutes and 12 seconds, as Fritz shows in his intelligent and gripping play.
Cara and Di have a heart to heart about what Jack has done | Courtesy of Ikin Yum
Cara and Di have a heart to heart about what Jack has done | Courtesy of Ikin Yum

What would you do if you found out your son had been given a bloodied nose on his way to school? What if he made a sex tape and it was posted online? What if his girlfriend accuses him of sexual assault? What if the girl’s father doesn’t want her to go to the police and instead wants to sort things out himself? How well do you really know your teenage son?

Well, Di (Kate Maravan) and David (Jonathan McGuinness) don’t know either. They had such high hopes for their teenage son Nick, getting good grades, leaving Croydon behind and fulfilling his dream of studying law at Durham. But what will happen in the wake of these rumours? … Or are they rumours?

What is particularly fresh and powerful in this piece is that there are only four characters, and none of them are Jack. The play navigates through their reactions to the revelations, showing the chaos and confusion Jack has caused, without hearing him speak up for himself.

Nick protests his innocence after being accused of posting the video online | Courtesy of Ikin Yum
Nick protests his innocence after being accused of posting the video online | Courtesy of Ikin Yum

You meet his parents Di and David, his ex-girlfriend Cara (Ria Zmitrowicz) and his friend Nick (Anyebe Godwin). The small cast and sparse set gives you the feeling that you’re privy to a set of personal conversations in someone’s living room. This intimacy allows you to focus solely on the intense dialogue between the characters.

The dialogue is intense, raw and dramatic. There are some witty moments of light relief but they only serve to draw you into a false sense of security before revelation after revelation comes out. While this play does shed light on the cyber life that we live in and the repercussions of what we share online, it also raises the question: how well do you know someone, who can you trust? This is an incredibly intense and provocative play and well worth going to see.

Di tensely confronts David about his internet habits | Courtesy of Ikin Yum
Di tensely confronts David about his internet habits | Courtesy of Ikin Yum

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds was Fritz’s first major stage play. It was nominated for an Olivier Award in April 2015 and was runner up for the Verity Bargate Award in 2014.