The Theatreguide.London Review
In March 2020 the covid-19 epidemic
forced the closure of all British theatres. Some companies adapted
by putting archive recordings of past productions online, others
by streaming new shows. Until things return to normal we review
the experience of watching live theatre onscreen.
Sunday's Child and Edinburgh Fringe August 2021
company Sunday's Child present this new play by Eva O'Connor and
Hildegard Ryan live at the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe, with a video version
streamed online for those who can't be there.
drama attempts a new approach to the subject of global warming. But
despite a polished production and attractive performances, it ends up
undercutting itself disappointingly.
In a near
future Dublin is underwater and two young women (Eva O'Connor and
Annette O'Shea) take refuge in an upper floor of an abandoned office
building, surviving on the office's supply of snacks.
their time bickering and making up, trying to decide what, if anything,
to do, and remembering in flashbacks some of the small joys and troubles
of their previous ordinary lives.
are interrupted a couple of times by what appears to be a lecture by an
environmental scientist (Michael-David McKernan) laying out all the
ominous facts and predictions about global warning.
which stop the play dead and take us away from the characters we want to
care about, seem clumsily imposed on the play until an abrupt plot twist
I won't give
away the surprise, except to say it manages to be both cynical and
banal, negating almost everything we've seen – and become emotionally
involved with – up to that point.
And so a play
that at worst seemed to be taking its time getting to what it wanted to
say, winds up saying something uninteresting in a way that leaves us
(Oh, hell. Don't read this paragraph if you don't want a spoiler. The whole thing turns out to have been a virtual reality experiment done by the lecturer for a bunch of corporate polluters, to reassure them how easily the general public can be distracted from realising who the real villains of global warming are. See what I mean?)
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