Discovering lost tribes in the Amazon is about as far removed from Finsbury Park as it’s possible to be; another continent and another life.
But simple8 make their début at the London’s Park Theatre later this month with Sebastian Armesto and Dudley Hinton’s ambitious play, Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes.
Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes is based on the true story and book by linguist, author and academic, Daniel Everett. Pirahã [(n) piɾaˈhã] is a remote Amazonian tribe with a language no outsider has ever understood. Daniel Everett, a linguist and missionary, is sent into the jungle with a clear purpose: to learn their language and convert them to Christianity.
But as he struggles to communicate, he uncovers a culture like nothing he’s ever imagined.
They have no words for numbers or colours, no urge to nurse their young or store food, no future tense, no ability to tell made-up stories, only things they have directly experienced, no religion, no leaders, no crime. And, by chance or by consequence, they’re the happiest, most care-free people he’s ever met.
Everett’s discoveries blow apart modern linguistic theory forcing him to question his faith and his understanding of what it means to be human.
simple8 stages an adventure wrenched from the heart of the jungle, which traces how language, culture and experience shape us all. They use the bare stage to conjure a plane, a river and the most remarkable of communities using nothing but six actors, a couple of chairs and a length of rope.
The simple8 ensemble for Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes is led by Mark Arends (1984 / Headlong), alongside Christopher Doyle, Rachel Handshaw, Emily Pennant-Rea, Yuriri Naka, and Clifford Samuel, directed by Dudley Hinton and Hannah Emmanuel.
Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes runs at the Park Theatre from March 22-April 23.