Theatre review: Swansong

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If you like your apocalypse knotty, you should see Kieran Hurley’s Heads Up.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

If you like it scientifically accurate, try Ontroerend Goed’s World Without Us. And if you prefer it frivolous, then this doomsday comedy could be for you.

The nightmare scenario is not just that the world is under water but that humanity’s last survivors are four 20-somethings who are too self-absorbed to grasp the enormity of what’s happened. Sharing a pedalo is a loud-mouth public-school braggart, a sporty micromanager, a new-age airhead and a surly cynic. Instead of soul searching, they can only bicker.

But just as playwrights Tom Black and Sadie Spencer seem to be sailing towards the port marked “hell is other people”, like this was a nautical version of Sartre’s No Exit, they change course to suggest the opportunity to start all over again may be no bad thing.

Ditching the trivia of these pampered characters’ lives is a small price to pay for peace, love and understanding.

Director George Chilcott refuses to be constrained by the single setting, adding lively audience interaction and self-mocking choral interludes (this swansong for humanity also features the song of a swan and a flurry of feathers).

It’s throwaway stuff but there’s hope for us yet.

Until 29 August. Today 5pm.

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