Review of "Civilization" by Terry Shea

The second half delves into weightier territory with the Kate Lester-directed Civilization, written by Jason Irwin. A slightly longer effort than the rest, Civilization attempts to pack hours of treatise into a small package and mostly succeeds. It’s a Mad Max world where Samuel Beckett reinterprets Pink Floyd’s Animals and throws three archetypes of the Western paradigm into a wasteland on the way to an elusive, and possibly illusory, paradise in the desert. Us and Them, the circular logic of history, the subjective nature of safety, love and conflict … it’s a lot to cover in a short tale, but Blanche Case, Alex Duckworth and John Carpenter grasp this slightly overwritten material with gusto and Lester’s direction keeps the tension high. Civilization is one of those works that seems custom-built for a post-show talkback and will play well in academic settings, but almost swallows its own tongue in this particular package.