A HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, directed by Alexander Devriendt, is an innovative production from the Belgian Theatre Company, Ontroerend Goed.
The title says it all with ‘Everything’ going back to the big bang,albeit in a condensed form with the production running less than two hours.
The seven performers describe various events to the audience starting from the present and then working backwards. Some of the events, such as the Asian tsunami, are significant whereas others are as trivial as Katy Perry’s eyebrows. A birth may be significant to an individual but of only passing interest to others.
Wars are an ongoing event, shifting in nature as time recedes. There is the Middle East conflict, there are wars ended by atomic bombs, there are colonial wars and there are religious wars.
Some aspects of humanities’ magnificence are shown through the recreation of renaissance artworks, scientific discoveries and the wisdom of the philosophers.
The narrative goes further back to human migration, the start of agriculture and to chimpanzees. Tectonic plates shift and we are reminded of how short human history is and how brief human existence may be.
There is a credit to fragments of SUM by David Eagleman. Eagleman is neither an atheist nor a believer but is open to possibilities. A HISTORY OF EVERYTHING considers many possibilities and leads the audience into thoughtful consideration of weighty matters. This production somehow manages to do this as gentle entertainment!
The cast is reported in the program as collaborating on the text. The cast including Cameron Goodall, Charlotte de Bruyne, Joeri Smet, Karolien de Bleser, Nathalie Verbeke, Tahki Saul and Zindzi Okenyo perform at a consistently high standard with gravity and integrity when required and humour when appropriate.
Highly recommended, A HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, a co-production of the Sydney Theatre Company, Ontroerend Goed and Sydney Festival production, opened at Wharf 2, Sydney Theatre Company on Tuesday 17th January and runs until Sunday 5th February, 2012.
© Mark Pigott
23rd January, 2012
Tags: SYDNEY PLAY OF THE WEEK, Sydney Theatre Reviews- A HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, Wharf 2, Sydney Theatre Company, Ontroerend Goed- Belgium Theatre Company, Alexander Devriendt, SUM- David Eagleman, Cameron Goodall, Charlotte de Bruyne, Joeri Smet, Karolien de Bleser, Nathalie Verbeke, Tahki Sanl, Zindzi Okenyo, Mark Pigott, Brett Boardman, Sydney Arts Guide.