Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia
A frantic and passionate mediation on environmental evangelism
This article is from 2016.
Although there is plenty of chat about climate change, there is far more to be found under the surface of Empty Deck's Cosmic Fear or The Day Brad Pitt Got Paranoia. For instance, what kind of future is it possible to imagine when the idea of even having a future has been drained away?
Big ideas and answerless questions are placed within one Brad Pitt-sized frame. By manically raiding through stacks of dressing up boxes, the three central characters transform from eco-conscious flatmates into the anxiety-ridden Brad and his supporting entourage.
They act out scenes of Brad's frustration at his own futility, and imagine him making a solo venture into a forest in order to do some yoga, hug a few trees, and to come up with The Big Answers to how to fix the world and its problems. The scenes are darkly cynical and as close to a narrative structure as this production gets.
At its best, this production is wry and self-effacing, and makes some superbly articulated and razor-sharp critiques of the emerging quasi-religion of righteous recycle-obsessed carbon neutrallers. Also deeply satisfying is the acknowledgement that most people don't even have the faintest clue where to start to reverse the effects of climate change.
Moments of hysteria, where the exultant performers beg for forgiveness for their holiday flights to Greece as though they are being exorcised, are followed by the tempering act of boiling the kettle for a cup of tea. Because, in the end, what else is there to do?
Bedlam Theatre, run ended.