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'Minority Report' - Nottingham Playhouse Review

Updated: 14 hours ago

“Minority Report” – Nottingham Playhouse 

The year is 2050, and crime has been more or less eradicated, in favour of pre-crime – the act of arresting someone before they commit a crime. This is the premise for Nottingham Playhouse’s new play ‘Minority Report’, written by David Haig and loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novella. 


Minority Report Nottingham
Julie (Jodie McNee) and her husband George (Nick Fletcher) go on the run from the police in one of Minority Report’s many action sequences

The play opens with Julie (Jodie McNee), a neuroscientist who is the head of the Precrime Agency, giving a seminar in which she explains exactly how the AI (Artificial Intelligence) determines which people are most likely to commit crime. The seminar is mostly optimistic, with projections showing people living without fear in a crime-free society. That is, until the seminar is interrupted by protestor Fleming (Danny Collins) who shouts about free will and warns the audience of the danger of pre-crime.  


The opening scene may be accused of being too much exposition, but this is necessary set-up in order to tell the story that follows, and as such, the rest of the play is easy to follow, helping to avoid potentially confusing concepts. The play kicks up a gear as Julie finds herself accused of pre-murder and decides to go on the run with the help of her AI assistant David (Tanvi Virmani, who was able to seemingly appear from nowhere at Julie’s command). 


Minority Report Nottingham
Julie (Jodie McNee) and her AI assistant David (Tanvi Virmani).

What follows is a non-stop 90-minute tale that sees Julie race across a futuristic London, in what I can only describe as an action film live on stage. The set is incredible, smoothly transitioning from Julie’s high-rise apartment to Fleming’s bunker to the basement of Precrime’s offices, never allowing the audience time to breathe or relax as Julie flees from the police. The production even brings to life action sequences such as a high-speed car chase, numerous fight scenes and an escape from the top of a tower block. 


Julie is helped in her quest by her husband George (Nick Fletcher as the friendly scientist with a dark secret) and Home Secretary Ralph (Nicholas Rowe). The only problem I had was that I did not find Julie particularly likeable – the character was full of anger (and rightly so, considering she was still grieving for her twin sister), which meant that imagining her as a potential murderer was not too much of a stretch. 


Minority Report Taxi
Julie (Jodie McNee) catches a driverless taxi – and a thrilling car chase ensues!

Several side characters also help to tell the story, including Ana, whose story was incredibly moving and well-told by Roseanna Frascona. Ricardo Castro puts in a good turn as the villainous Sergeant Harris, as does Xenoa Campbell-Ledgister as Michelle, although her side-plot felt a little superfluous to the rest of the story. Christina (Chrissy Brooke) plays a significant role towards the end of the play, although her character is perhaps introduced a little too late in the plot which makes her situation difficult to care about. 


Overall, this is a fully engaging, captivating story which led to some great debate on the way home. The final twist is a little predictable, but the production value of the play, the superb set pieces from director Max Webster and production designer Jon Bausor, and the skilful acting on display means that this is a thrilling, white-knuckle ride that will leave you gasping for breath by the end. 


Minority Report is a Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre Co-Production in Association with Simon Friend Entertainment. This one act drama runs at the Nottingham Playhouse until Saturday the 9th of March 2024 before transferring to Birmingham Repertory Theatre (22nd March – 6th April) and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (19th April – 18th May).  


Minority Report Poster
The artwork for the play

Read more reviews by Tom Morley at https://brokenlegsblog.co.uk/

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