Venue: Underbelly, Cowgate
28 August 2011
This one-man play, written and performed by Australian theatre maker Stuart Bowden, tells the tale of a space explorer named Avian. He realises one day, whilst looking at the 'dead' moon, that the Earth must be lonely without a similar, inhabited planet to keep it company, and resolves to travel through space to find a companion planet to drag back to Earth.
The play depicts three encounters Avian has in the Atacama Desert whilst preparing for his voyage, as well as the tale of his actual mission.
Bowden is a charming performer who draws the audience fully into the story and successfully holds their attention. He adeptly constructs atmospheric background music for the various scenes with the aid of a keyboard/loop machine and ukulele. Perhaps even more impressively, he seems to risk life and limb clambering on the plastic crates which make up his set.
The show is by turns humorous and melancholy, and touches on themes including love and loneliness. The underlying message, though, is that we only have one planet, and one lifetime to show that we care for it and its inhabitants.
- Emma Watkins