The Palmerston Library Theatre
THE LAST MAMMOTH
09 / 2023
Photo: Nicholas Porteous (youtube.com/noveltyhat)
Good Old Neon’s first show designed primarily for an audience of children, The Last Mammoth is a collaboration between Good Old Neon and the University of Toronto’s Prof. Rebecca Woods, an environmental historian whose current work focuses on the remains of frozen woolly mammoths and their place in global histories of science. This project is, among other things, an experiment in translating the insights of scholarly history into a register accessible to children.
While on a school field trip to the museum, Mads, a ten-year-old girl, accidentally discovers ‘The Last Mammoth’ (portrayed on stage by a full-size puppet) frozen in an ice block. When the storm outside cuts the power, the ice thaws, and the woolly mammoth comes to life before her eyes. Together, Mads and her new friend journey north in search of other mammoths, for family and community. Along the way, they encounter hungry raccoons, mournful mountains, and a circus ringmaster who just might be the devil in disguise. As they forge deeper north, Mads and the mammoth learn important lessons about extinction, climate change, and what it means to be ‘the last’ of your kind. The project asks: how can theatre introduce young learners, the stark and asymmetrical realities of climate change, while offering space for hope for future generations?
Devised and Conceived by the Ensemble
Script by Alexander Offord
Directed Nicole Wilson
Stage Managed by Hazel Moore
Dramaturgy by Nicola Atkinson & Alexander Offord
Puppet Design & Construction by Graeme Black Robinson
Scholar-in-Residence: Rebecca Woods