8 Sept 2011
What's the value of a human life? When is it OK to kill? When does life begin? End? I wonder if anyone I know would have the same answers? Maude Davey's Future of the species: part one doesn't leave you questioning the characters and their world, but questioning your own life and the beliefs you hold (often secretly) about whether life or death is something deserved.
Before going into the theatre Maude asks members of the audience to answer a quick survey. Moments after sitting, she describes her generous answerers and we're asked who is worth more. No one can answer. The same questions become more general, but even Nicole Kidman or Martin Byrant doesn't get an answer, but Kylie Minogue or Kyle Sanderlands does. If we can't laugh at the impossibility of such comparisons, what hope do we have?
In her underwear in a cell, Maude is woman who is alone and frightening lonely in a lab where she chose to be for money. Her eggs are harvested and the stem cells used for medical applications. She's wants a family and has conflicting feelings about a rat's babies. Should we fell sorry for her?
She is also a man on death row. He's sexually violent and there's comfort knowing that he's locked away from "us". Would we object when he faces the needle?
Directed by Ingrid Voorendt, it's intimate and visually confronting, yet leaves so much space for interpretation that its audience have no choice but to question themselves. This is brilliant stuff.
Future of the species part one was first performed in Adelaide in 2004 and parts two and three are planned confront our beliefs about family and community. I suspect that the three seen together may be almost too much to watch.
This review originally appeared on AussieThearte.com.