'At the End of Everything Else' – Unicorn Theatre
The lighting for 'At the End of Everything Else' is provided entirely by bicycles that pedal throughout the action. The story too holds lessons in environmental awareness, such as an island of plastic detritus, some of which melts in the sun and snares a bird’s legs. The audience and attendant scavenging birds provide the strength to pull the bird free, illustrating the show's mantra “together we can do it!”
The eco themed show is a follow-up to the very successful ‘Something Very Far Away’, also produced at and by the Unicorn Theatre, with some of the same production team. As before there are half a dozen “desks” where the miniature settings and action take place, all of it projected onto a large central screen.
The central character is a nine year old girl, Icka. Her boring daily routine is transformed by the arrival of a baby bird that is motherless, just like her. The bird goes missing so Icka sets forth on her bicycle, having attached large wings to it, and pedals and flies around the world to find her bird, which brings her to the famous island of garbage in the middle of the ocean. After this adventure she learns to face every new day not as boring routine but as a potential adventure.
The lead creator is Mark Arends, working with a team of eight, engineers, designers and performers, all of them talented and many of them – in order to pedal the bikes for so long – strong! It’s a good, original, thought-provoking show for the young, with a pleasing mix of fantasy and urban reality, and some excellent animation, live and filmed.
The idea of an eco-friendly show is a worthy one but, unlike ‘Something Very Far Away’, I could hardly make out any of the intriguing creative activity going on at the desks because the lighting was so low; and most, though not all, of the screened visuals were less zany and quirky than those of the company’s previous show.
'At the End of Everything Else'
Written and directed by Mark Arends
Animation by John Horabin
Engineering by Electric Pedals