In Tomorrow’s Parties, UK theatre group Forced Entertainment, present a theatre of speculation. A man and woman, unnamed, stand in a small square crate on an otherwise empty stage, riffing on possible scenarios for a future earth. It is an experience, rather like reading each blurb in the science fiction section of a book shop.
These alternate futures are often extreme and always thought provoking, just as science fiction should be. Will you be living in space, or communicating entirely online while your body lies floating in a tank (hey, isn’t that the premise for The Matrix films), or perhaps you won’t speak to anyone at all. Each future, seems to feed off the last, either by contradicting it, or taking an object or issue that was used in a different direction.
There are only so many blurbs you can read, so the show could get tedious. However, this is an utterly absorbing piece of theatre. Each hypothetical future is presented in a matter of fact way. Your brain gets caught up, trying to examine the pros and cons of each new idea. Many scenarios begin with the phrase “In the future” but how far into the future remains unknown, making you feel very small and insignificant.
There are two distinct voices here. The woman seems more pessimistic, reflecting on the gap between rich and poor and the exploitation of workers. The man seems more inclined to expand philosophically and avoids moral judgement.
The show was devised by the company as a whole. Initially they wanted to explore the idea of hope, but found this inevitably lead to speculations about the future. An early version of the show was performed in Japan so the whole thing had to be surtitled. The show has been preformed around the world using two different actors for each location.
Tomorrow’s Parties is highly recommended, particularly if you have made a new year’s resolution to write a sci-fi novel but are stuck for a premise. It is a delight to lose yourself in the philosophical dilemmas of each situation. Just remember to locate yourself back in Carriageworks, Eveleigh 2016 before heading home.
Forced Entertainment presents
Directed by Tim Etchells
Venue: Bay 17 | Carriageworks 245 Wilson Street (Corner of Codrington Street), Eveleigh
Dates: 20 – 24 January 2016
Bookings: 1300 723 038
Part of the 2016 Sydney Festival