Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, Autumn 2007; Tricycle Theatre, Spring 2011
This company-created piece attempts to connect the difficulties of personal relationships to the larger issue of international co-operation in the face of global warming, with the recurring image of water as a binding symbol.
Two half-brothers discover they have clashing memories and images of their dead father who, as we learn in flashbacks, was one of the first scientists to warn about global warming, but who compromised his principles for personal gain.
Separately, a civil servant struggles to guide an international conference toward a Kyoto-like agreement while her estranged boyfriend attempts a record-breaking deep sea dive.
Three actors impressively play all the characters, Ferdy Roberts as brother and father, Oliver Dimsdale as brother and diver, Victoria Moseley as negotiator, as well as doubling and redoubling minor roles in each otherís scenes, while composer and sound artist Tim Phillips provides a continuous and inventive soundscape.
Director David Farr keeps the alternating and overlapping plot lines always clear while creating inventive stage pictures.
But the several stories never really connect to or resonate against each other, the tenuous thematic and symbolic connections remaining more theoretical than real.
Nor do the personal narratives really evoke associations with the ecological and political issues, which seem artificially imposed on them.
Never anything less than engrossing to watch and hear, the show remains an impressive and entertaining exercise in theatrical effects rather than the effective communication of its generating themes.
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Review of Water - Lyric Hammersmith Theatre 2007