The current pandemic has led to us taking a step back to evaluate how we operate in the world: we drive less, we haven’t been commuting unless we have had to, there has been an increase in online shopping, there has been a rise in veganism. The conflict between what we could and should be doing, and what is easiest for us, has never been more present.
This is the point at which we find Untamed Productions and their show Mrs Noah Fights Back. It is a thirty-nine minute piece taking the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark as inspiration for a show around climate change and how we can make a change for the better. Noah does, indeed, build a boat to keep his family safe from the impending flood, but Mrs Noah, finding a kindred sisterly spirit in God, has other ideas.
Good points in April De Angelis’s play (adapted by Poppy Abbott) include a female God gatecrashing a local community meeting, Mrs Noah revealing her first name, and the moments of humour and music. Environmentalism and feminism come to the fore in this story.
This show looks at issues of deforestation around Avon in particular, but of course every community could welcome small changes for the greater good, to protect fauna and flora, improve air quality, and safeguard the future for the generations which follow us.
I appreciate the idea, but for me, despite the clear commitment of the cast (Poppy Abbott plays a strong Mrs Noah, Lauren Alexandra is fun as God, Fraser Fraser displays a great voice as Revd John), the mix of live Zoom performance and pre-filmed inserts, and the message about how we can all contribute to change the world, this show didn’t quite take flight despite many moments which worked well.
The topics raised within the story of the modern Noah are very relevant and current, but there is a danger that the message can become a little too preachy at the expense of the theatricality of a show. I felt the story was a little short-changed and wanted a little bit more to be truly satisfied that I had experienced theatre as well as going away with issues to think about.
Mrs Noah Fights Back streams until 18 April 2021 on Zoom, with 10% of the £5 ticket price going to support Avon Needs Trees, a charity tackling deforestation in South West England. There will be a short Q+A session after each performance to explore the issues raised in the piece in more detail. Book your tickets here.
LouReviews received complimentary access to review Mrs Noah Fights Back.