Are we not drawn onward to new erA – Ontroerend Goed

Theatre (international, contemporary)

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  • ZOO Southside - Main House
  • 11:00
  • Aug 17-18, 20-25
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: Belgium
  • Group: Theatre Royal Plymouth, Vooruit, Richard Jordan Productions, BiB with ZOO
  • Warnings and additional info: None
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years
Dates, Times and Prices


Ontroerend Goed, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Vooruit, Richard Jordan Productions, BiB with ZOO. Like its title, this performance is a palindrome. You can see it forwards and backwards. Because some believe humanity is moving forward, while others believe the opposite. No matter who's right, our quest for progress has dramatically changed the world we live in. Are our actions irreversible or can we undo them? 'The most beautiful, most intelligent and committed performance Ontroerend Goed has ever made, on the boundary of visual art, theatre, poetry and politics' **** (Knack).

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: The level access is via the rear or the builiding. There are 16 steps from the street level to the seating.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

James Gordon 4 days ago

If you ever wondered what Gibberish spoken with a Flemish accent sounds like, now’s your chance! More seriously, this playful, palindromic show, combining vivid use of easily (but not immediately) understood symbols, real-time video, meticulously crafted speech and physical theatre, is the most deeply thought-through and carefully executed theatrical treatment of its mammoth topic (human use and abuse of natural resources) that I have encountered – with the notable exception of Wagner’s Ring cycle, which is 14 hours longer.

Sensibly, the company doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel. They start with the familiar creation myth, subversively reinterpreted. (Eve pre-dates Adam, who picks the apple and tempts her with it, no doubt then blaming her for his own action and inventing a serpent to compound the deceit.) We end there too – perhaps. The ambiguity is surely deliberate. .ytilaer lautriv ,lanoisnemid-owt si ees ew noitarotser fo krow ehT Is it possible? Can time really be reversed without some act of cathartic destruction? The pivotal central speech, heard twice, suggests otherwise. Behind the screens, all the mess we have created is still there, revealed again at the curtain calls. Doubtless a more optimistic reading is possible. I saw this show on Sunday and I’m still thinking about it.

Prof Teak 6 days ago

Conceptually, this was good, the execution was intriguing....but the pace left something to be desired.
This is a show that you want to fix. It is colorful and fun and mysterious....if the pace could just pick up and if there could be some dynamics and connection between the performers, it would be so good.

Derek 6 days ago

I'm really glad I took a chance on this show. Like other reviews I would suggest you avoid trying to find out too much about it prior to going to see it. It's a slow burner but once you start to make sense of it and realise what you have been watching you'll begin to look forward to all the other parts still to come. All in all this is an intelligently crafted show which will make you think, will make you feel and, in some parts, make you smile.

Rachel Wiggans 11 days ago

If anyone offers to tell you what happens in this performance, run. You have to watch it unfold in front of you. Early on I was distressed, a third of the way in I understood, half-way in I realised what the incomprehensible language was, all through the second half I was agape and at the end I was shaken. This is moving, challenging and exceptionally skilled theatre. A privilege to experience it.

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Total Theatre 1 day ago

Ontroerend Goed, who have previously wowed Fringe audiences with one-on-one performances, sensory journeys, gambling casinos, and dating games, return to Edinburgh with a show that – gosh! – is presented on a regular stage, and doesn’t involve any audience interaction or immersion. Although actually, this isn’t the first time… The...

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The Stage [paywall] (4/5 stars) 1 day ago

If you can bear to sit through 35 minutes of very testing, very incomprehensible movement and sound, the payoff for Ontroerend Goed’s show is completely worth it. The Belgian company’s take on the climate crisis, while initially trying, is a very clever piece of theatre. During the 35-minute first half,...

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Exeunt 2 days ago

I spent the first half of Are we not drawn onward to new erA pretty sure I knew what it was about. I knew the concept (just like its title the show is a palindrome) so I knew as each thing was done, each movement made, that at some point...

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UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 3 days ago

The artistry and technical skill is astonishing. It's surprisingly funny as the performers reap the laughs they invested in earlier. I left with the broadest, satisfied smile. A stunning show with an effective message. There's hope for the world, even now.

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The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 4 days ago

Look for a while at the title of this latest show from the now-legendary Belgian company Ontroerend Goed, and you may begin to glimpse the idea at the heart of this extraordinary piece of  theatre, created by its six-strong performing company with director Alexander Devriendt, and dramaturg Jan Martens. ...

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The Skinny (4/5 stars) 4 days ago

The mystifying opening to Ontroerend Goed’s latest piece sets up a dreamlike world, where thinly drawn characters erect monuments, tear trees to shreds, and play with plastic bags, all the while sporadically speaking in their own unidentifiable language. Are we not drawn onward to new erA is a clear allegory for climate...

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Whats On Stage (4/5 stars) 4 days ago

Last time Belgian company Ontroerend Goed was at the Fringe, it turned the 2008 financial crash into a fun Monopoly-esque dice-rolling bonanza. This time, the group is clowning around with global warming in a Fringe run of 2015's Are We Not Drawn Onward To New ErA, a palindrome-laden yet bizarrely...

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The List (5/5 stars) 8 days ago

Technically dazzling, emotionally devastating work...

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Time Out (5/5 stars) 8 days ago

I don't think it would take fellow Belgian Hercule Poirot to deduce that Ontroerend Goed’s brilliant new show ‘Are we not drawn onward to new erA’ is palindromic. If the title didn’t give it away, then the official description just spells it out. So trust me, it’s not a spoiler to...

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The Guardian (4/5 stars) 8 days ago

Three years ago, the pioneering Belgian company Ontroerend Goed brought World Without Us to the Edinburgh fringe. It was a mesmerising monologue that went step by relentless step through the stages the planet would go through if the human race was wiped out. In short, nature would take over and...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Dates, Times and Prices