Far Out - Omnibus Theatre
Mission Success for L Squared Theatre
Three astronauts venture out into space, one of hundreds of vessels tasked with seeking our planet B. An algorithm has ensured that they share compatible personalities so there won’t be any problems, right? Right?
Pilot Alma, (Atlanta Hayward) works to keep spirits high and minds on task whilst experiencing the new meaning of a long-distance relationship. She has left her girlfriend Zo safe and sound at a core community back on Earth, a necessary set-up to protect humans from the consequences of long-term climate change. Hayward brings a delightful, obsessive panic to her character, keen to do things by the book but far too easily swayed by her crew. Her pilot, Jed (Bertie Taylor-Smith), is a little more carefree and extrovert, willing to blow up a few asteroids just for the fun of it but quietly pines for his life before the capitalism-induced catastrophe occurred. Taylor-Smith has exceptional comedic timing, delivering quip after quip in reckless fashion. Completing the cast is Bobby Wilkinson as Ellis, the most reserved of the crew, seeking a new life beyond the confines of their old one. With an assured performance from Wilkinson, they lead the ethical discussions about whether after all that has happened is humanity worth saving.
Though charmingly lighthearted and inviting, writer Libby Williamson poses timely and demanding questions. She imagines a future world that has been ravaged by capitalism, stripped for all it is worth and yet absurdly capitalism claims to be the one ready to solve it all - an all too real irony called out in her writing. Though occasionally a little on the nose, the script is sublimely efficient, packing in humour, heart and impact within the hour and still leaving space for meaningful character development accompanied by lightyears of science jargon. There is some slick animation provided by Curtis Argent that not only adds to the endearing vibe of the production but stylishly supports the plot throughout - a nice touch.
This is an adorable piece with an unapologetic and meaningful warning for the future. The queer characters are buoyant and pure, leaving it impossible not to root for them to achieve mission success - an authentic and joyous production. L Squared are a company to watch out for in the future.