Reduce, reuse, recycle, the mantra of the environmental movement without which there will be no future, at least none which supports a civilisation as we know it today, a destructive way of life of endless consumption which burns resources faster than they can be replenished, tossing aside rather than repairing anything which is damaged or no longer considered desirable.
Change can be painful but it is necessary if the alternative is extinction, and writer/director James Nash and performer Hannah Batt have their eyes on the ultimate goal, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a serene utopia populated by people who travel from city to city on foot, passing monumental wind turbines and fields of solar panels on the way.
A minimal show making good use of the bare space of Zoo Playground, like Kepler’s Somnium it takes the form of a dream journey, the narrator falling asleep for a thousand years to awaken in the year 3019, overwhelmed by a sadness for all that is lost and a wonder for all that has been made – or remade, to be more precise.
A green world of vines and vegetation and instant recycling and repurposing, in keeping with the ethic of the goal all the props are proud of their origins as other objects, representing habitats, wind farms, museum exhibits, even the other socially adjusted characters with whom the narrator travels on her pastoral journey.
A world without money, where countries and economics as we understand them no longer exist, where meat is made directly from cells and milk from plants, Anorak Theatre’s Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow echoes the more optimistic imaginative leaps of H G Wells or Olaf Stapledon as they looked to the future and saw possibility rather than catastrophe.
Running at only thirty minutes, the hope is tinged with melancholy: perhaps nobody in a thousand years will remember us, but the better tomorrow can only be made by making changes today and those distant descendants will only be there to judge the consequences of our actions if we actively chose to change however difficult the sacrifices required.