The Ark

The Ark Adelaide Fringe 20241/2

Adelaide Fringe. Raucous Behaviour. House and Grounds, Carclew. 16 Mar 2024


There’s a book sitting next to Noah (Gianluca Noble) as he plays solitaire sitting on his outstretched sleeping bag on the floor of the library he’s sheltering in from a fierce climate change induced snow storm. In Adelaide.

It’s entitled ‘Facts.’

Facts, feelings, history and survival struggles are rolled out, then intertwined in The Ark.


Director Playwright Thomas Liddell’s sparse, wonderfully illuminating exploration of what surviving apocalyptic outcomes of climate change would mean, beyond the terrifyingly obvious, is deeply thoughtful, at times, a raw eye opener.


Noah’s safe solitude is rudely interrupted by Eunice (Catherine Carter) and Grand Daughter Eve (Maya Carey) barging into the library in search of shelter.

Immediate survival battle lines are drawn.


Why should Noah help them? Doesn’t Eve’s ideas of communal sharing of the resources they have make solid sense in a world that’s completely broken down? No idea if anyone’s actually out there alive?


An eventual truce allows the three means to tentatively build relationships, and test where the edges to them are when it comes to what’s important to them in a world effectively dysfunctional, to completely non-functioning.


Catherine Carter’s Eunice is in the throes of early onset dementia. Eunice’s dementia, alongside her clear memories, operates as a kind of symbolic sieve though which a ‘forgetfulness’ of one generation has spawned the world Eve and Noah are struggling to survive in. That point is driven further home when Emma (Caitlin Hendrey) crashes into the library with her baby daughter.

Emma’s wife has abandoned her and their child.

Just as the world seems to have abandoned its inhabitants hopes of living.


Liddell brilliantly structures performances and pace in such a way ever growing and tightening tension of this tiny group’s claustrophobic circumstances leaves enough room for moments of hope and new understanding to flare up.

An experience and process not without very dark, extremely cruel moments.


Liddell’s cast manage a tremendous challenge giving life to ideas and experiences in a context matching a yet-to-evolve dangerous future. Liddell has written a future present epitaph for our world, in which his characters supply a warning we need to heed.


David O’Brien


When: 15 to 16 Mar

Where: Carclew

Bookings: Closed