Full disclosure here - I’m a fossil nerd and therefore biased. Kira Hall’s story about a young woman, Lea, dealing with the death of her brother Daniel through the beautifully sustained metaphor of dinosaurs, is both moving and educational. Hall has an easy manner about her that draws you into her world and her pent up pain. Never mawkish (she’s dressed throughout in an adorable dinosaur onesie) the well-structured story leads us to the inevitable conclusion, but not before we learn about a strong sibling bond and an important road trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Whimsical overhead projections offer everything you’ve wanted to know about T-Rex, including the occurrence of dinosaur cancer reflected in the title.
There is much to like in this, Hall’s first solo piece. It is easy to feel the relationships, represented by dinosaur puppets. There are memorable images and ideas that resonate, particularly observations on the fear of success or not knowing who you are when someone you’re close to is no longer there as contrast.
Paleoncology might make you want to watch Jurassic Park, an annual movie/drinking/talking night that Lea and Daniel shared. You might never look at water the same way - as something peed out by a dinosaur. You’ll be struck by a thought we’ve all had before - that feelings are like buried fossils; you find them later and figure things out.
Don’t take too long to figure out that this is a show to see.