Is the earth flat? Does corona even exist? Was 9/11 made up by the US government? Is the world ruled by lizards disguised as humans? All questions that haunt online and thus creep into offline reality. Also in the world of young people. Waffle of internet geeks for some but truth for others who believe in these alternative facts. How are young people sucked into the deep caverns of the internet? Do they find the connection online that they have to miss offline?
Rabbit Hole by de Toneelmakerij i.s.m. Theater Sonnevanck is an interactive performance close to the skin of time. In this unique cross-media environment, the boundaries between online and offline are completely blurred. Through their mobile phones, the audience becomes part of the chat forums on which the isolated Samy moves. Do you follow him into the Rabbit Hole? Or stay out of it?
No matter what his sister Hanna and his mother try, Samy does not leave his room. He stops going to school, doesn't come down to eat and he doesn't give in to his classmates either. Anyone can shout, beg or curse all they want, but there is no movement in Samy. He spends nights at his computer gaming and retreats into a growing online community. The digital space is his way out of a daily reality of bullying, anti-Semitism and a broken family. While the outside world turns away from him one by one, Samy is seen online. There, he makes new friends: Neo17 and its supporters. They teach Samy about the Red Pill and pull him deeper and deeper into the Rabbit Hole. Hanna, who in the meantime is becoming increasingly active in the leftist corner of the internet, finds it ridiculous that her little brother lets himself be so taken in by that bunch of wappies. Nonsense, says Samy. Neo17 and his supporters are not wappies, but truthseekers. And by the way: aren't all those activists Hanna gets involved with just as extreme? The once close Samy and Hanna find themselves diametrically opposed, cheered on by their online allies. Can a bridge still be built between their parallel realities or are they driven apart forever?
For the interactive part of the performance, de Toneelmakerij and Theater Sonnevanck are collaborating with Theater Utrecht's Innovation:Lab.
In season 2022-2023, the international version of Rabbit Hole will be made, in a co-production by de Toneelmakerij with Akademie für Theater und Digitalität from Dortmund, the Austrian Schäxpir Festival and the Ars Electronica Centrum in Linz, where the world premiere will take place on 17 June 2023.