TWO YOUNG MEN SEPARATED BY THE ATLANTIC by Jonathan Oakman

An app for loneliness gives two men the chance to connect at the end of the world.

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TWO YOUNG MEN SEPARATED BY THE ATLANTIC by Jonathan Oakman
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Comments: 7
  • #1

    David Wike (Monday, 03 June 2019 21:49)

    I really enjoyed this. Simple, elegant, touching. The tender intimacy of the connection and estrangement between the two really comes through; they are two people reaching out to each other across a gulf... and it really doesn't matter because they are there, with each other, truly, still finding their way with their relationship. Very much a performance based piece (a good thing) and I'd be curious, in rehearsal, how much of the current dialogue may actually be needed? Only stumble I had with this was 'where' it fitted within the timeline.

  • #2

    Teodora (Monday, 03 June 2019 21:54)

    I love the concept. The irony that even when the world is about to end, we are still so lonely with our devices that we need to connect to someone online.

    Some of the dialogue on page 1 doesn't make much sense, though. I didn't understand what Man 1 means by: "I heard someone a day or so ago..." I don't like the fact that they don't have names or at least one description of them to give us an idea what they are like. Also, if the laptop screen shatters, how come they can still hear each other?

  • #3

    Jonathan (Monday, 03 June 2019 22:30)

    Thank you for these. Really helpful.

    It's just the screen that shatters - the laptop is still running. Man 1 is asked if he has been left alone so his response is essentially "yes" but he thought he heard someone and he doesn't want to talk about it so he moves the conversation on. I guess I kept the men nameless as, until this point, they have just been profiles on an app and neither of them discovers the other's name.

  • #4

    Natalie Teming-Amoako (Tuesday, 04 June 2019 12:33)

    This is a good story. The juxtaposition of the light hearted dialogue between the two men and the seriousness of death knocking at their door works really well. I would just amend the first four lines of dialogue and find a more direct way to display MAN 1's anxiety.

  • #5

    Bianca Jaeger Montobbio (Thursday, 06 June 2019 12:40)

    Jonathan! Nice work! It reads very fluently. Personally I would have wished for a description of the characters and names (although I understand why you didn’t use any, but maybe they can call each other their app names, which could convey some comedy moment?). Maybe their ages as well? At some point Man 2 has a long dialogue explaining the need of a connection, I’m sure this could be tighter. Maybe you can work in some more sound effects to remind the audience of the impeding doom and show Man 1’s anxiety through him being fidgety, playing with some props which could give the audience more background information about him. I thought the idea of using in this situation an app to connect brilliant and very of these times! (I assume Man 2 has a different accent? That would be interesting to convey more so the information of them being separated by the Atlantic also comes across within the scene and not only the title.)

  • #6

    Leilani Holmes (Sunday, 09 June 2019 04:48)

    I didn't get, so you might want to refine to what's relevant to the now. It is a little 'talking heads' at present and I think despite the screen nature of the communication you could use action to reveal the characters a little more than you do, for example when the screen breaks is it because of what happened or could he have had the jitters and dropped it, causing a moment of self-recrimination. It's these little things that could elevate the piece and allow more points of empathy from the audience and perhaps allow for it to be a bit more cinematic in the room.

  • #7

    Kim Ramsay (Monday, 10 June 2019 14:11)

    I found this to be a really powerful and poignant concept - well done. As humans we all have an inherent desire for connection, even these two strangers in their final moments.
    Could you give the audience a little more of a physical description for who these men are, so we could picture them as we’re reading? Even if it was through their app/avatar names? Does Man 2 have an accent, or which country is he from - particularly after he mentioned liking that Man 1 is English.
    There’s some cute moments in the dialogue - like when Man 1 is caught using the talking prompt. If he is nervous/anxious, perhaps he can press some other wrong buttons during the exchange early on.