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Amazonia - Myth or mysticism? A bold exploration into the Fawcett mystery



Review by Emma Whitelaw

COULD it be that missing explorer, Percy Harrison Fawcett, never wanted to be found?

The secrets surrounding the disappearance of Fawcett have now been revealed in a bold new play, Amazonia, by award-winning writer/director, Misha Williams, at The Bridewell Theatre.

Despite numerous rescue attempts, resulting in over 100 fatalities, could he have deliberately evaded salvation in order to live a long and blissful life deep in the Amazon?

Amazonia is an extraordinary piece of theatre, based on the enduring Fawcett mystery, and the secret archives of the Fawcett family.

For years, PH Fawcett's son, Brian, had held these papers under close guard.

It was thought that he had kept them from the public in a bid to protect his father's reputation from the shame of failure.

After the recent revelations, however, it appears his intentions were far more sinister.

Colin Starkey is tremendous as the neglected son, Brian. He is captivating and manages to convey every bit of the frustration his character endured, in not only being excluded from his father's expedition, but having to shelter his family from the prying exploitation from Hollywood and the BBC.

In keeping true to the secret archives, Amazonia's most incredible character is that of M, an exotic female elemental.

Catherine Gill gives a stunning performance as the wickedly devilish sith that toys with Brian and manipulates his every move.

M attached herself to Brian when he was only a small boy, and governed his life thereafter, including the instigation of such events as the loss of his first wife and unborn child.

Maureen Flynn is adorable as Brian's second wife, Ruth. She is loving and supportive and tolerates his quirkiness with ease.

She is the perfect wife and is ever so easily pleased; promises of cream teas in town almost immediately alleviate her concerns about the flying teacups in the lounge room.

The lighting, music and sound design is minimal, yet incredibly effective, while the jungle scenes are particularly good.

Simplistic tools, such as green lights and various jungle sounds, were successful in giving the illusion that they were in the heart of the Amazon.

The tale is truly a fascinating one and leaves the question of Fawcett and his 'Messiah' son, Jack's survival, open to interpretation.

Were they victorious in their search for the City of Gold? Or were they the victims of cannibals? Perhaps hostile Indians? Or perhaps even starvation or disease?

Either way, it is an amazingly intriguing play and certainly one to see if you enjoy mystery and mysticism.

Amazonia, written and directed by Misha Williams. Starring Colin Starkey, Matthew Woolcott, Phillip Law, Cate Fowler, Maureen Flynn, Catherine Gill, Roy Sampson, April Walker and Trevor Jones. Producer Caroline Sealby, Designer Dana Pinto, Lighting Flick Ansell, Music/Sound Steve Everitt. Presented by Kevin Wilson Public Relations. April 13 to May 1 at The Bridewell Theatre, Bride Lane, London EC4. Box Office: 020 7936 3456.

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