The Forecast

The Forecast is an engaging and informative piece of political theatre. Four women from different parts of the world are employed as “human garden ornaments.” They hang from a tree in an upper middle class suburban back garden. The story of how these women found employment in such a “profession” is chilling and begs several questions: Where are we? How did we get here? What can we do about it? Presented here as part of Window, an Arts Industry Showcase, The Forecast is an interesting and probing piece of work, beautifully written, with some genuinely accomplished and moving performance at its core.

The great achievement of this play is its ability to move effortlessly between epic and intimate styles of storytelling

This play was inspired by George Saunders' short story The Semplica Girl Diaries and is presented in collaboration with Olivier-award winning playwright Bola Agbaje. Unlike the short story, which is told from the point of view of a suburban middle class man, this version places the four women at its centre. These women hang in the garden and are “hard-wired” – connected by a thin wire burrowed through their brains. There are many burningly topical themes at play here. We’re talking about migration, the West’s relationship with the Developing World, sexism, xenophobia, borders, workers’ rights, classism and more. Such a litany of themes might make the play feel “preachy” were it not for the grace and talent of its performers. Gaël Le Cornec gives a touching performance of a young woman in the immediate throws of grief while Eva Mørkeset offers a delicately measured and beautifully realized portrait of a woman trapped in an impossible situation. The actors are supported by a gentle and lyrical score by Susi Evans, who plays live. The set consists of four gigantic white dresses on raised platforms which are occupied at various intervals by the actors. The theatrical possibilities of this unique (and visually stunning) concept are fully explored under the capable direction of Ben Samuels.

The great achievement of this play is its ability to move effortlessly between epic and intimate styles of storytelling. My only caveat would be that it feels slightly too long. Perhaps with some skilled dramaturgy the company might yet be able to shave a few minutes off its 80-minute runtime. What resonates most as you leave the theatre is just how believable this seemingly outlandish story really is. In a world of alternative facts, it is all too easy to imagine four vulnerable women hanging from trees for our pleasure.

Reviews by Aidan Stark

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The Blurb

In a backyard near you, in the not-too distant future, a clutch of women from far-flung corners of the globe float in mid-air. They have a new job: human garden ornament. As the reality of what they have signed up for, and who they are literally stuck with becomes clear, what unites and divides them will be paramount as they struggle to endure the ordeal. Inspired in part by George Saunders' 'The Semplica Girl Diaries', Limbik’s latest show weaves stories, songs, secrets, and shadows into a bold, bonkers prediction for the days ahead.