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  • Flora Gosling

Review: Are we not drawn onward to new erA? (Zoo Southside)

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

Take a close look at that title. Notice anything about it? Are we not drawn onward to new erA?, much like its namesake, is a palindrome. The first half plays out on stage before a recording of the performance we have just watched is played back to us backwards.

The ambition of this concept is astounding in itself, but the execution is mind-blowing. The first half is a history of mankind. We go from seeing Adam and Eve figures sharing an apple to a stage clouded in fog, covered with plastic bags, and dominated by a giant golden statue. The second half is a fantasised imagining of humanity returning the earth to the way it was; no more plastic, no more pollution, no more golden idols, and no more people.

The structure and level of detail are unlike anything I have seen before. The script is performed backwards, meaning that when the video is played all the words suddenly make sense. Not only is it a wonder to behold, and it gives the audience so much to think about in terms of where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. It has a sense of melancholy, acknowledging the impossibility of reversing the damage we have done, but also giving the audience hope about how glorious it would be to return the earth to the way it was. Five stars.

Whispers from the crowd:

I thought it was a really interesting idea, and they it conveyed it visually really well. Would I watch it again? I'm not sure.

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