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15th November 2021

Déjà Review: Anna X

Madison Emmett reviews Anna X at the Lowry, starring Golden Globe winner Emma Corrin
Déjà Review: Anna X
Photo: Helen Murray.

Written by Madison Emmett.

Theatre is back! And what a better way to escape the lows of the past 18 months than to get lost in Anna X – an immersive, dynamic yet haunting account of how anyone can be anyone in our Instagram age.

Fresh off of a West End run, Anna X spent a single week at the Lowry in Salford. It starred Emma Corrin, who won a Golden Globe for playing Princess Diana in The Crown, and Nabhaan Rizwan, who played the title character in Informer. The dynamics between the two actors was superb; I particularly loved the fluid storytelling and speaking in parallel.

With the essence of a rom-com and the spirt of a thriller, Anna X is the captivating tale of the futility of New York’s social scene.

Inspired by the true story of the Russian fraudster, Anna Sorokin/Delvey, who spent her mid-twenties duping New York’s art world into believing that she was a German heiress, Anna X is the story of ‘a wealthy Russian heiress’ who sets out to con newly flush Manhattan tech entrepreneur, Ariel, into falling for her and then funding her non-existent art foundation.

Anna meets Ariel on the dance floor of all places. Viewers are immersed in their frenzied love story, highlighted perfectly by Corrin and Rizwan’s electric chemistry and perfect comedic timing. 

As the story unfolds, viewers are reminded that all is not as it seems online. Ariel’s own creation – a dating app for the ‘verified’ desirables of NYC and beyond, an exclusive world where Instagram followers and name dropping rules – is what causes him to meet his end. His attraction to the desirability of Anna and her seemingly sparkling reputation results in him losing his integrity, trapped in the space where money talks, beauty rules and social media is your ticket to success.

This drama offers a parallel to our millennial lifestyles – a telling social commentary of the pull of the ‘elite’ world of celebrity, money and power – and the lengths people will go to fit in. We can all learn something from the rise and fall of Anna X.

Anna X masterfully tackles the elite world of celebrity, money and power whilst exploring the futility of false identities. The show presents social media as a way to mould and control how we wish to be seen. If anyone can be anyone in the ‘Instagram age,’ do we really know each other?

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