You have two more days to take a wrenching emotional and intellectual journey. You have two evenings to follow local performer Ben Mellor through the wilds of climate change and the human ability to ignore it, reinterpret it and generally do what humans have always done (and needed myths to remind them that they do) – that is; royally screw up their chances of a sane existence thanks to one frailty or another.
From the opening sequence, of a slouching teenager finding his voice and spine while stranded in a relocation centre (what’s the disaster?) with his bigoted father, to the irresponsible space-cake running “Gaia’s Farm”, Mellor convincingly embodies seven figures – male and female, young and old – as they struggle with a world where the ground is shifting under their feet thanks to the sky above their heads. It’s a world where all that seems solid – like “pedro” or “rock [poor cover for Stone btw]) is fleeting, vulnerable and melting because of the air. Mothers, sons, fathers, lovers betrayed by police infiltrators, it’s all in there, linked in both oblique and obvious ways. There’s even time, within a performance just less than an hour, for a pitch-perfect mockery of the ubiquitous TED talks.
What’s missing? The most vital, but least dramatic tale of all; the lived lives of those people who care enough – who know enough – to come to a performance. Many will have come in their cars, with a foreign holiday on the horizon, and the sense that someone else – government, business, non-governmental organisations – isn’t doing enough about this issue. Those lives are unrepresented, perhaps unrepresentable, via mythology, but are lives that will need to be explored..
You have two more opportunities. I whole-heartedly encourage you to take one of those opportunities. Tickets can be had here.
Disclaimer: Marc Hudson has known Ben Mellor [website] since about 2004 or so, when the latter kindly agreed to be involved in a fund-raiser for Medical Foundation Caring for Victims of Torture (now “Freedom from Torture.”)
Btw: If you’re into decent novels about the myths we need to tell ourselves about the redemptive qualities of “nature”, then the late Julian Rathbone‘s “King Fisher Lives” is the place to start – it should have won the Booker Prize in 1976. All but one of the judges were for it. One vetoed; not on the basis of the cannibalism,incest or left-wing politics. No, what did for it was the occasional – and all-in-context- use of the c word.