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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Theatre review: Expedition is a thought-provoking imagining of life in the year 2116

With the world seemingly on the brink of cataclysmic change, whether from global warming or other natural and man-made disasters, the year 2116 will surely look different than it does today. In Expedition, the latest in Boca Del Lupo’s micro-performance series, the Vancouver company teams up with Dublin’s The Performance Corporation to unleash their imaginations on what life might look like one hundred years from now.

Expedition, as it is currently being presented on Granville Island, is made up of two stories: Underwater Archeologist and The Table. These two are actually part of a larger series of six, with others two already performed and two more in the works They all take the same idea – what will life on our planet look like in a hundred years – as their jumping off point.

In Underwater Archeologist and The Table it is global warming that takes centre stage. Without wanting to give away too much of the surprises that are part of both pieces, they approach their subject matter from very different perspectives.

As titles go, Underwater Archeologist is a pretty good indicator of what to expect as an archeologist from the year 2116 steps into False Creek after a discovery is made. Set beneath one of Granville Island’s bridges, this piece is filled with irony, and is perhaps inappropriately funny when you consider the outcome. You can’t help but admire Jay Dodge’s bravery for taking the plunge in the chilly and murky waters.

The Table is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival. A young couple, played with an appropriate wavering conviction by Caitriona Ennis and Karl Quinn, welcome us into their home. There is a nervousness about the two as they invite us to partake in some meat samples, beautifully presented on pieces of wood. As Quinn deliciously describes the various meats, it doesn’t take long to discover there is something they are not telling us. In Tom Swift’s script and direction, there is a wonderful tension as the two try to convince themselves as to the necessity of what is happening, as much as convincing us.

Together, Underwater Archaeologist and The Table are thought-provoking works and become fodder for a post-show discussion. Hope versus fear are that discussion’s main components. The conclusion is we probably are best to have both.

Underwater Archeologist written by Jay Dodge and directed by Sherry J Yoon. The Table written and directed by Tom Swift. A Boca del Lupo and The Performance Corporation production. On stage at The Fishbowl on Granville Island until June 25. Visit for tickets and information.

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