How can we save the planet when we can’t even save ourselves? That’s the essential question posed by Water,
a sweet if somewhat scattershot collaboration by Filter, a lively British troupe with a zesty approach to the classics, and director David Farr that concluded a brief run at BAM’s Next Wave Festival.
An exploration of climate change and
personal stasis, Water opens with a l980s lecture by a marine biologist (Ferdy
Roberts), who uses an overhead projector
to show how water molecules cleave
together — as people must in order to halt global warming. Years later, his two sons, Graham (also Roberts) and Kris (Oliver Dimsdale), meet fractiously in Vancouver
to scatter his ashes. One hotel room away,
a policy advisor (Poppy Miller) tries to
convince other countries to agree to
environmental accords as she fends off
angry online calls from her cave-diving ex.
Water twins these narratives, not always successfully, backed by tech low and high. While the use of projection and screens is spirited, it falters in comparison to what more digitally savvy companies can accomplish. Water flows best when it concerns itself not with slick visuals or grand themes, but with the local, the personal, and the soppily