A Library for the End of the World (Vena Cava Productions)
If you saw people with headphones wandering in West End, you would probably just pass on by. And that is just the point of Vena Cava’s immersive show, “The Library for the End of the World”, because whoever stops in this whirlwind world to look and listen and think? Guided by the soothing sounds of the narrator, participants walk, watch and even touch the streets and alleyways in exploration of some of the suburb’s nooks and crannies. Who lives behind the nowhere places and what are their stories? And more importantly, what is your story? Not only are your prompted to ponder such considerations, but, once in the cosy shipping container that represents your final destination, you are left to listen to the cassette taped recollections of others (some probably poignant, some likely lame like mine) before recording your own memory to the add to the database.
Teaming up with Brisbane-based artist Sarah Winter (best known for her previous work, “A Dinner with Gravity”), Vena Cava has created a singular, individualised experience, which is exactly what makes it so special. Everyone has memories; we turn to them because of their ability to induce moods as much as to move us. “The Library for the End of the World” not only profoundly explores the fascination behind the familiar, but brings, if only for a little while, a sense of clarity, joy and tranquillity, that cannot help but resonate. So often we romanticise destinations with expectation of some sort of great prize on arrival. The truth though, is that life is not really so much about the destination, as it is about the pathway and experiences along the way. And although deep down we probably all know this, we all probably also need some reminding.
You can find all of my Anywhere Theatre Festival reviews on the Festival website.