Exploring the relationship between a brother and a sister growing up in a climate change fuelled apocalypse,
A good premise led to a less than spectacular final result
Set far in the future, climate change has left the world in ruin and the government is doing all it can to fix the mess we humans have made. If that involves taking away freedom of press and keeping a Big Brother-style watchful eye over all its citizens, then that’s what they must sacrifice to save everyone from starvation. At least, that’s what one high achieving lawyer, Zoe, argues. Her brother Kai, the genius engineer behind the country’s newly developed sky farms, isn’t so sure. And after he discovers the truth about what the government is doing with those sky farms, he’s more determined than ever to attempt to break the system to reveal the truth.
Through various flashbacks and conversations, we come to see the story behind the relationship of these close siblings and how their past is to influence their decisions now as they both try to convince the other that they are right. Not only does this play explore these global issues, it also looks at more down to Earth themes, especially at how loyalty and life choices can so easily tear apart even the strongest of childhood relationships.
The story itself is unravelled cleverly, being thrown straight into the action that the play then spends most of its time explaining how that point was reached. I particularly enjoyed how they portrayed the effects of climate change and the destruction of the world, playing various, disastrous news reports over the speakers as the characters go about their daily lives on the stage, a beautiful juxtaposition.
The good premise is let down by mediocre acting and an unexciting script. The writing isn’t especially gripping, tedious and lacking in the tension needed to keep the audience engaged. Although the character development was there and the connections between the characters felt real, the dialogue is often quite clunky, not realistic or relatable.
This wasn’t helped in any way by the performances. The everyday conversations feel believable but as soon as there was any deep emotion in the climactic scenes that realism vanishes. Touching monologues about the characters journeys felt quite awkward to watch and the confrontations slightly forced. Perhaps that was why Zoe’s character arc felt so unbelievable; it was just too difficult to connect to the emotional turmoil she was going through.
A good premise led to a less than spectacular final result, and Towers of Eden left me feeling a little unsatisfied. The potential is there, with some clever elements to the story, but it was never quite absorbing enough to bring it any further. With some work, this play could be a win for the audiences but Towers of Eden left me with one word bouncing round my head: unconvinced.