Generation Zero

The difficult relationship between political and personal affairs are addressed in the devastating drama Generation Zero. Through an interesting balance between dialogue and narration, Becky Owen Fisher’s play tells the story of an unnamed man and woman living happily until her involvement in an environmental activist group puts an unbearable strain on their relationship.

It is obvious how comfortable the characters feel around each other, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when activism takes over their romance

The performances of He and She are both exceptionally strong. Both actors have a convincing naturality to them in the opening scenes of the play, which document the couple’s first meeting. It is obvious how comfortable the characters feel around each other, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when activism takes over their romance. We are left with a devastating sense of what could have been. As the play progresses and the environmental group becomes more and more threatening to the relationship, both actors develop their performances accordingly with real talent. She, played by Francesca Dolan, has a wonderful stillness to her that adds deep poignancy. Jordan Turk as He displays amazing contrast and shows genuine strain under the weight of his world falling apart around him.

Although the script packs an emotional punch, there is still room for improvement. The play is delivered with a contrast between conversational language for spoken dialogue and descriptive prose to narrate the story. The alternation proves an innovative technique to show that the characters are not voicing their true thoughts. However, the prose is sometimes too long and provides an unnecessary amount of detail, thus interrupting the suspense. The piece could also have benefitted from some cuts towards the end. Much of the action after the main climax is unnecessary and the aftermath could have been much more condensed whilst still retaining impact.

Generation Zero presents bold and relevant ideas about the impact of social activism on everyday life and it provides real food for thought. The performances are grounded and gripping to watch, but, in terms of its script, it needs to quit while it’s ahead.

Reviews by Carla van der Sluijs

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

One young couple. One changing world. She’s certain she knows the man she loves, but he’s hiding a disturbing secret. A look at our future through the eyes of the first generation to tackle climate change head-on. Using poetic language, striking physicality and a soaring soundtrack, Generation Zero will transport audiences into an ambiguous future world in the shadow of imminent climate change. Lamphouse Theatre, a vibrant theatre company from Peterborough, presents this new play. Directed by Tom Fox (Remote by Stef Smith, and Ailie and the Alien by Morna Pearson, National Theatre).

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