Everything Else Happened @ Assembly Roxy
Exploring the world between what is and what 'could have been’, Everything Else Happened is a mixture of intellectually probing, amusing but occasionally faltering dialogue, which comments on society, relationships and human interaction.
In a period of self-doubt, humans often ask themselves 'what if'; 'what could have been if...'. This is the central idea of Everything Else Happened. Across its four stories in a story, it showcases the difference between what is, and what could have been – the world of theoretically infinite possibility.
Each scene could easily stand alone, but the subtle links that run between each strengthen the show and make it clear as to why Dream Epic have adapted and compiled those particular stories. However, a familiarity with Foer’s work is not necessary to follow and enjoy the piece.
Where they do fall down, however, exists outside of the world of the performance, as they are described in the synopsis as somewhere between Samuel Beckett and Woody Allen. This sets the bar quite high, and while influences from the two moguls are clearly present in the performance (such as the use of a tape recorder in the second and best piece reminiscent of Krapp’s Last Tape), these are big shoes to fill and it’s not quite achieved by the company.
Still, the skill is there, even if it’s not quite Beckett or Allen. With the setting of the stage as part of the action, an ethereal soundtrack and the incorporation of technology both as back and foreground, the performance fuses the simple and complex, particularly in the ending sequence performed as if a seminar by Foer himself. An intriguing and clever examination of the ‘could have been’s of four lives, Everything Else Happened is an interesting and curious well-made piece of theatre.