Boom, Theatre 503 – London

Writer: Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Director: Katherine Nesbitt
Reviewer: Ann Bawtree

Written by a self-confessed biology buff, Boom is the story of a second Big Bang, an apocalyptic event caused by a huge comet colliding with the earth. Not an obvious subject for a comedy. Warned of this event by his fish, our hero, Jules, played with pitiable naivety by Will Merrick, lays his plan not only for his personal survival but for that of the human race as a whole.

tell-us-block_editedThis latter, of course, must involve at least one member of the opposite sex presented here in the delightful form of Nicole Sawyerr who plays Jo. She is invited by Jules to join him in his laboratory for what she imagines will be a straightforward date. It does not take her long to find out her mistake but by then it is too late for escape. A familiar plot with a clever twist.

An old story in an original setting, she and the audience are under a further illusion as both she and Jules are exhibits in a museum, some millennia hence. The museum thread is presented by the physically and vocally substantial Mandi Symonds playing the museum guide, Barbara. She sits in her corner, punctuating the development of events in the laboratory with violent sound and lighting effects. On occasion, she comes to the front of the stage to confide in the audience but more often speaks either in quiet asides or roars primaeval fanfares to express her enjoyment of the situation. She takes great pride in relating the story of Jules and Jo and of the fish, who play a central role as the harbingers of the impending disaster. They are observed closely and even spoken to by all three human characters.

Combining the two venues and spanning the two time zones, the play runs for just over an hour and a half. It is full of humour though delivered in needlessly coarse language. Telling the story from two different perspectives adds intrigue, rendering it unpredictable. A dark comedy unfolds as Jules pursues his plans for their relationship and of course if it all went smoothly there would be no story.

Runs until 26 August 2017 | Image: Lidia Crisafulli

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