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BWW Review: DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS, VAULT Festival

BWW Review: DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS, VAULT FestivalBWW Review: DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS, VAULT Festival

When the Voyager spacecrafts were launched in 1977, they contained two golden records that were meant to reproduce sounds and noises coming from Earth so that alien life could learn about us.

This attempt to depict human nature in a time-capsule was spearheaded by cosmologist Carl Sagan and incorporated brainwaves of Ann Druyan, who was creative director of the project. The time spent together working on the recordings resulted in a romantic affiliation between the two, who later married.

Don't Talk To Strangers analyses the egocentrism of the human race through a series of sketches. Sagan (Ally Poole) and Druyan (Stephanie Fuller) are on a talk show, delighting audiences and presenter (Elana Binysh) with their love story. An unidentified being (Madeleine Lewis) is, however, lurking in the audience.

What ensues is a fever dream of sorts; as the couple explains how perfect and otherworldly their relationship is, the scene escalates to a repetition of cartoonish vignettes that highlight the egomania of the lovers until the "alien" intervenes.

Their idea to kick-start a response from other forms of life through the record takes a backseat and the company - who devised and directed the play - shines a light on the disregard humans have for their planet. As Lewis delivers a heartfelt plead to take stock of the stolen lands and lies build to support a system based on self-importance, the show reaches a poetic turn.

The ensemble reevaluates the magnitude of humanity through movement and sound, creating a peculiar dynamic that lives within the piece. This approach doesn't always work and the outcome comes off as slightly too convoluted to take a serious critical stand, but Don't Talk To Strangers is nonetheless an entertaining and thought-provoking play.

Don't Talk To Strangers runs at VAULT Festival until 1 March.

Image credit: Hugo Bainbridge



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From This Author Cindy Marcolina