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Old Growth
Presented by Acky-Made Productions

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Reviewed: 2008-07-26 02:46:46
By: Leila Marston (primordialmuse@gmail.com)

Two passionately eco-conscious musicians make a pilgrimage to the stump of a felled spruce tree, seeking transformation and wisdom to share with a disconnected world. Such a plot could easily have descended into histrionic preaching; instead, this extremely courageous piece of theatre is one of the most brilliant shows I've ever had the privilege to view.

Flautist Aura Giles makes a marvelous theatrical debut, acting her shy, winsome role naturally and playing a flute rich with velvet tones and subtle emotional nuance.  Alex Eddington performs a number of feats, from magic tricks to drumming to composing the awesome music that weaves seamlessly into the musicians' rite, and his raw character, the "eco-prophet," is exposed body and soul on the small, flickeringly-lit stage.

The writing for this show is really phenomenal, poetic and austere, and the script tackles difficult questions with intelligence and sensitivity.  This is not a simple condemnation of world-killing corporations or a diatribe against consumerist society, but an exploration of all sides of the multifaceted issue of growth - what we grow, what we kill, what we value.  It is one of the very few environmentalist works I've ever seen that actually promotes thought and questioning, instead of telling the audience what to believe.

I applaud both performers for weaving magic onstage, literally and figuratively, and also for living the environmental convictions of their show: they chose to avoid handbilling and other paper-based publicity (a choice that, sadly, may have affected the size of the audiences they so richly deserve).  They still have two shows left; attend one while the opportunity's there.

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