Review: Minority Report, Birmingham Rep

Minority Report, Birmingham Repetory Theatre
Photos by Marc Brenner.

Having seen the film of Minority Report many years ago, I recall being both impressed and bemused by the convoluted storyline that unfolded. How then, was it going to translate to live theatre, I wondered.

But this innovative, brand-new production, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, and adapted for stage by renowned writer and actor David Haig (My Boy Jack, The Good Samaritan) had me on the edge of my seat throughout.

In 2050, neuroscientist Dame Julia Anderton is about to launch the next phase of her pioneering Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed. But when Julia is accused of pre-murder, she’s in a race against time to save herself from her own system.

Birmingham Rep Theatre, Minority Report

This thrilling adaptation of such an iconic story challenges our beliefs about justice and free will in a real-time chase through the London of the future.

Minority Report sees award-winning Director Max Webster re-united with the producers of the globally successful stage version of Life of Pi. This incredible theatrical experience creates a world at the borders of science fiction and reality.

The small cast successfully manages to pull off an impressive feat in the retelling of this iconic story so it’s fit for theatre consumption, headed up by the talented Jodie McNee who is impactful as the first female to play the lead.

Indeed, powerful performances all round deliver real time action in this 90-minute frenzy of a show (no interval to catch your breath). And for those who aren’t familiar with Dick’s novella, there’s plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes in that time.

Birmingham Rep Theatre, Minority Report

Much of the success is also down to its staging, with clever use of cinematic projections, choreography and inventive props. I particularly enjoyed the hologram-effect appearances of Julia’s (apparently gender-neutral!) AI assistant David, who also delivered the handful of sassy one-liners on the night. Why did she remind me of my car’s Sat Nav, I mused!

This intensely captivating show is a sci-fi spectacle that delivers on all fronts. As thought-provoking as it is entertaining, Minority Report leaves us with a sense of satisfaction, whilst also questioning our own ideas of justice and the power of choice.

The Rep’s latest hugely impressive world premiere continues to play its part in putting Birmingham on the theatrical map.

Minority Report runs at Birmingham’s The Rep Theatre until Saturday April 6. Tickets and information can be found at the Birmingham Rep website here.

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