A Pay What You Want Performance
This performance can be added to a subscription package, on sale June 27th at no additional cost. Non-subscription Pay What You Want performance tickets will be available starting on Tues. July 19, 2022, at 12noon.

Are we not drawn onward to new erA
(Interestingly, the title is a palindrome)
Three years ago, the pioneering Belgian company Ontroerend Goed brought World Without Us to the Edinburgh fringe. It was a mesmerizing monologue that went step by relentless step through the stages the planet would go through if the human race was wiped out. In short, nature would take over and our remains would become archaeology.

The environmental theme and the apocalyptic worldview carry over into the conceptually daring Are We Not Drawn Onward to New ErA. This time, however, instead of going forwards, we're going back.

Alexander Devriendts production is a visual expression of a troubling question. Now we agree that the way to avert climate catastrophe is to wind back the clocks, how much of the environment have we permanently damaged? Just as you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, so you can't live a western 21st-century lifestyle without leaving a legacy of permanent destruction.

Those who dislike spoilers should look away now - The show, like its title, takes the shape of a palindrome, its meaning expressed in seeing it both forwards and backwards. It begins or do I mean ends? in a garden of Eden, where a man pulls an apple from a solitary tree and gives it to his companion to eat. But something is amiss.

As the stage fills with human life and human waste so it dawns on us that the forward-motion we are watching carries within it the possibility of the reverse. How, we wonder, will they ever be able to unstrip a tree or tidy up a stageful of plastic bags? How indeed. There are moments when the concept tries patience, but when finally we watch the whole thing played backwards on film, we are not only dazzled by the company's clever conceit but also challenged by the scale of the eco problem ahead.

* Pay What You Want allows you to attend the performance at no charge and remit a voluntary amount after the show based on your experience.


A Grand OnStage Performance