Mr. Rainbow by Sebastian Baczkiewicz

Contact Us

Mr. Rainbow by Sebastian Baczkiewicz. Dir. Joby Waldman. Perf. Tom Bennett, Tom Kenyon. BBC Radio 3, 16 May 2015. BBCiPlayer

Inspired by Kafka's "Metamorphosis," this half-hour sonic experience made extensive use of radio's innate potential for creating meaning through overlapping sounds to create a world where imagination and the outside world were as one, a nightmare-like continuum where things such as choice and free will no longer possessed any real meaning.

Gregory (Tom Bennett) lives at home with his Dad, but suffers from an incapacitating medical condition. Neither he nor his parent know precisely what's wrong with him, so Gregory takes advice via the internet from a variety of "experts" - a therapist, a GP, a dating expert and a faith healer.

Gregory's reliance on the internet rather than face-to-face contact transports him into a virtual world devoid of human contact. While the experts are willing to offer him plenty of advice, we understand that they are not really interested in him; like salespeople they want to foist certain visions upon him that will enhance their online status and lead to an increase in internet traffic. As someone wanting to rid himself of his medical condition (who wouldn't?), Gregory is ready to listen to their advice, but by doing so gradually deprives himself of the capacity to reason, to distinguish between truth and falsehood.

Liberally illustrated with musical extracts from familiar film and television programs (including the old ITV children's classic "Rainbow"), Sebastian Baczkiewicz's play offers a dystopian vision of a world dominated by online communication in which consumers become ever more vulnerable to a salesperson's pitches and less and less able to maintain their self-determination.