Movements One and Two

New in the old, old in the new

 One man is almost 90, racing the hearse, he likes to say, as he works to complete his newest work, on the invisible geometry in the drawings of Piero della Francesca (1415-1492).  Geoffrey Smedley has been occupied with Piero for decades, and he has discovered lines and angles that are more than simply illustrations to accompany Piero's treatise on perspective, De Persceptiva Pingendi, which scholars previously took them for. In the introduction to his work-in-progress, Beneath Appearances, Geoffrey quotes Plato: "...when the Creator had framed the soul.. he formed within her the corporate universe and brought them together and united them centre to centre. The body of heaven is visible, but the soul is invisible and partakes of reason and harmony."

Geoffrey asserts that his unearthing of the buried geometry in Piero's work offers an insight into the attunement between sight, geometry and being.

The other man is a young playwright, not yet 30,  a mad reader who steeped himself in old stories of revolutionary movements to create a work that captures the essence of the energies involved in making change. I love the way his protagonist, Olivia, grabs the microphone when she has something important to say to her partner Jeremy. Strangely, when it comes to delivering the "message," she can only stare at the audience and promise that she will never do anything her heart doesn't tell her to do. A lot of followers are attracted to her non-message, and the numbers seduce Jeremy. He thinks the movement should have a name. Maybe the Olivians. He thinks they should lay out their specific ideas for change.

I couldn't decide which of the characters' views I favoured. Then I realized it didn't matter. James Gordon King and director Marie Farsi present the classic conflict between the heart and the intellect. Into the battle comes a most charming shit disturber, who tells Jeremy he's being noticed. This gives Jeremy the confidence to take the microphone himself. The lure of power, so hard to resist. Even Olivia is tempted by the devilishly likeable fellow who keeps changing his name, the fellow who might well be saying...this, all this, it could be yours....

In the end, all three characters are lying on the dirt floor of the pop-up theatre. But they do rise again, like every generation that aims to create the wheel, only to realize they are part of an endless circle. Age and youth, old and new.