Some of you saw Forced Entertainment at the weekend…

Here is a review:

The Guardian, Thursday 24 October 2013 13.19 BST

Tomorrow’s Parties – review

The Junction, Cambridge

Two performers imagine possible future worlds in this unbearably sad yet absurdly optimistic performance

“Those who come 100 years after us will despise us for having lived our lives so stupidly. Perhaps they’ll find a means to be happy,” declares the doctor, Astrov, in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. More than a century on, Astrov’s prediction seems unbearably optimistic, particularly in world of rising sea levels and anxiety, superbugs and finite resources. In the 21st century, imagining the future can be scary thing to do: hence, perhaps, the popularity of dystopian narratives which play to that despair.

Forced Entertainment’s show offers a different perspective, one that is both clear-eyed and playful; possible, maybe even probable, but also utterly fantastical. Like much of this company’s best work, it is built around lists and statements, and is based on the very simplest of ideas. Two performers stand side by side on a stage that is bare – bar a skein of multicoloured fairground lights – and take it in turns to speculate on what the future could bring.

Every proposition is responded to by another statement that offers a different possible version of the future. So a world ruled over by a single government is pitted against one operating on a primitive feudal system. Eating meat will be barbaric – or alternatively everyone will have become cannibals.

This is a challenging piece, and you have to allow yourself to be seduced by its quiet rhythms and wry asides. It operates as a kind of talisman, as if by imagining the very worst we can stop it from happening. But there is a touch, too, of JG Ballard‘s call to the power of the imagination “to remake the world” and “hold back the night”.

Tomorrow’s Parties is both unbearably sad and absurdly optimistic, as it projects further and further into an unknown future and points out the fragile insignificance of our lives.


About La (Paula) Mor

La (Paula) Mór is a theatre teacher and director. She has taught and directed in the UK and internationally for 20+ years, both at Secondary and University level. La is currently working on Jeju Island in South Korea at Branksome Hall Asia where she develops original, contemporary theatre with her students and continues research into the applications of the Viewpoints in Theatre Education. La has been trained in Anne Bogart's 9 Viewpoints by SITI Theatre Company and Zen Zen Zo and delivers international Viewpoints training to young people, undergraduates, performers and lecturers. Academic background: BA(Hons) Bristol University; PGCE Leeds University; MA Applied Theatre, Central School of Speech and Drama.

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