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Theatre Review: Let's Inherit the Earth **

Joy Watters reviews a confused production.

Premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, this co-production by Scotland’s Dogstar Theatre and Sweden’s Profilteatern is the latest collaboration between the two companies. It now tours Scotland before taking off for Sweden.

Billed as `a punk musical comedy,’ it is a work where form and content often seem at odds as it struggles to make its point about climate change and the human race’s stupidity in failing to deal with it.

Writer Morna Pearson has created a host of roles for the five-strong Scots/Swedish cast. The scenes are constantly in flux requiring the players to change clothes and move props around, which brings a sense of dislocation. Delivered in bite-sized chunks, there are times that it seems like a send-up of a play for children.

The audience sees the snooty rich on their Caribbean hols, holding their noses as the globally warmed smelly seaweed drifts closer all the time. In Scotland, a clueless couple are forced to flee their home due to the great floods. They meet up with some smug Swedes who claim to have all the answers for surviving.

Such extreme characterisation creates a lack of humanity, failing to reach out to sentient human beings who do care about climate change. The message is obscured by simply holding these particular characters up to ridicule.

There are some punky songs punctuating the action which give a dated feel to the piece and again raises the question of whether this is a spoof, this time of 70s political theatre. The audience sees a group of characters who could not care less about anything really, because of their wealth and social position or extreme self satisfaction or sheer numptiness.

Let’s Inherit the Earth continues its tour to Eden Court (Oct 30 and 31), Cumbernauld Theatre (Nov 1), Peebles Eastgate Theatre (Nov 2) and Paisley Arts Centre (Nov 3).

Tags: theatre

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