Theatre Review: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, Zoo Playground, Edinburgh

Futurologists of the past may remember that EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) was one of Walt Disney’s original plans for what eventually became the Disney World resort in Florida

EPCOT is a Russian doll of meta-theatrical tricks within tricks.

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, Zoo Playground, Edinburgh * * *

A real, functioning city in which the technological and sociological revolutions of the future would be tried out. The EPCOT which solo performer Hannah Batt and director James Nash – both of whom wrote the text – create here is on a frankly miniscule scale by comparison, just an assemblage of rinsed-clean recyclables which coalesce into a cityscape, but the hopes behind it are just as big.

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Conceptually, the pair’s Anorak Theatre company have created a piece which is slight in duration, yet ambitious – and successfully so – in impact. Using simple but effective meta-theatrical tricks within tricks (the piece is bookended by a letter from Nash which speculates as to our experience of the piece) Batt lulls us into the now by describing where we are in the room, even addressing one or two of us in person, and then drags us into the future by imagining that we have woken to a world a thousand years from now, where people trek ritually between cities and plastic is for museums only.

The ecological message is simple and story development is slight, but in the HG Wellsian atmosphere and delivery of the piece, Batt and Nash have created a captivating short work.

Until 17 August