If you were brought up in one of the Abrahamic faiths or even on the margins of one, then the chances are you are aware of the story of Adam and Eve and their entanglement with an apple and a snake. The story at a top level is fairly well known but, what about the discussions and emotions that occurred before the fateful decision to taste the fruit? Well, who can say? Maybe the fertile mind of Marie Myrie whose new play Garden of Eden has been on at the Hen And Chickens as part of the Camden Fringe can provide an insight.
The play starts with two people sitting, arms crossed, ignoring each other – apart from some hard sidelong glances – and obviously really angry about something. That something, a rosy red apple, is sitting, rather innocuously in the middle of the table looking sweet and innocent. However, that is not the way Adam (James Carrington) and Eve (Marie Myrie) see things and there is obviously some sort of power struggle which sometimes occurs in a marriage. This one though seems to be escalating and things are not improved with the mysterious arrival of a second – possibly bad – apple which may or may prove the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back for Eve and Adam’s relationship.
Garden of Eden introduces some very modern touches to the original story of Adam, Eve and the apple. The theme is less about the disobedience of the deity and more around the tensions that can suddenly surface in a relationship – especially if both partners are strong willed and maybe believe the partnership is not entirely equal. Writer and Director Marie Myrie has penned a pretty good story, but my belief is that the piece needs to be a bit longer – the running time of just over thirty minutes took a few people by surprise – in order to give the characters a real chance to fully develop. Both actors are good in their respective roles but I have to say they didn’t always look like a couple to me, although I liked the fact that James was so much taller and broader than Marie suggesting that in the relationship, he was the dominant partner merely because of his perceived physical advantage – something that still happens in society today.
Overall, Garden of Eden is an interesting and quirky play that takes a new look at an old, old story and gives the audience a chance to have a think about relationships and how they work when there are other disturbing factors that come into play. All told, the writing is pretty good and I can see a lot of potential in the story if it was expanded with the characters being fleshed out a bit more.
Review by Terry Eastham
New writing by Marie Myrie with a modern day adaption of the original story of Adam and Eve. The couple struggle to find trust within their home whilst battling with the verdict of eating the forbidden fruit. The couple are psychologically challenged when they are told that the fruit will grant them limitless knowledge…..