"...it turns out, you can't"
by Owen Kingston for remotegoat on 12/03/16

The publicity material for this show gives little away. Something has happened and the British Isles are under an 'indefinite quarantine'. It's getting desperate for everyone.

Two brothers are trying to survive the apocalypse together. Travelling from caves to train tracks to the channel tunnel they keep moving, like sharks who will die if they stay still for too long. It's bleak. It's serious. It's pretty shouty.

This stripped-back, in-the-round production is not an evening of giggles and fun. There's only really so much desperation one can watch unbroken, and the writing here is really only on that one level – the level of pain and suffering. Subtext? Largely absent. Light and shade? Just the shade thanks. Genuine emotional truth? We can make do with shouting. It's the familiar erroneous presumption that in order to tackle something serious and weighty like the end of civilisation one must drown the audience in bleak and gloom. And shouting. Did I mention the shouting?

It's a tale told simply and uninventively. There's nothing new going on here theatrically to grab the attention away from the inevitable suffering and doom, and it doesn't really say anything new either.
A third of the way in we meet the pantomime villain whose 'charismatic' rhetoric reminds us to watch out for the snake with the forked tongue, but unlike certain bombastic American businessmen this guy isn't fooling anyone. The idea that anyone might be idiotic enough to follow this cane-wielding Dick Darstardly for longer than five minutes before figuring out he has a sinister agenda is frankly a bit ludicrous.

It's the-apocalypse-by-numbers and someone got the numbers wrong. All the typical ingredients of the standard post-apocalyptic scenario are here, but rather than doing something artful, interesting or novel with them, this company just shakes them all up together and splurges the resultant mess all over the stage in front of you.

It might entertain if you're really into that sort of thing, or if you know the guys involved, but frankly your hour and your eight quid are better spent elsewhere.

Other recent reviews by Owen Kingston
Go play spies with them by Owen Kingston
We Own Everything
Political comedy worthy of Brecht by Owen Kingston
Staying Faithful
Faith, Hope, Love and Oasis. by Owen Kingston
Thalia's Taverna
Tasty meze of theatrical beauty by Owen Kingston
Building Relationships
A perfect sliver of hope by Owen Kingston