Strange Orbits

Carly Henricks
Do Not Go Gentle Theatre Company
The Rotunda: Bubble

Strange Orbits

In Carly Hendricks’s debut play, Strange Orbits, the former Space X engineer turned actor and writer plays her heroine, Lily, an engineer who fled earth as the planet fell to nuclear decimation triggered by climate catastrophe.

Tech billionaire Jasper led the mission to colonise Mars some twelve years before the action starts and is now her husband.

As they celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary, a personal betrayal reveals a greater, credibility-defying deception excusable on the grounds it precipitates conversation around the core themes of the play.

Mat Glessing’s Jasper is all ego and unconvincing altruism, whilst Henricks’s Lily backs herself into a corner where most emotions are expressed on the verge of or with tears.

Hendricks has chosen to use a Shakespeare-lite style of prose for the play, which serves to set the action in an obliquely familiar world, but the repeated borrowings and paraphrasing—"we stand on the shoulders of giants" … "out like brief candles" … "all sound and fury"—are also a distraction.

Nonetheless, Hendricks raises some interesting questions around contemporary space exploration being spearheaded by an elite boys' club of the privileged and wealthy, lack of support for projects combatting climate change and the endurance of human nature in the strangest of circumstances.

Reviewer: Sandra Giorgetti

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