NW18 Apokalypsis - photo by Sarah WalkerApokalypsis is such a curious title, presumably a portmanteau of Apocalypse and Ellipsis. They’re so conceptually incompatible; one comes on in the white heat of revelation, and the other is an indication of time passing. And yet, it proves the perfect description of this strange, thoughtful work.

Four performers grapple, in a series of increasingly frantic vignettes, with the concept of repetitive catastrophe in the only way it seems possible these days: with a kind of distracted apathy.

Initial scenes, with objects placed on a central stage as representations of pre-historic collapse, are too flippant to carry much dramatic weight, but soon the piece develops a trotting rhythm and becomes very funny indeed. The share-house as the ideal location for the end of the world is nicely established, and there’s a lovely sense of millennial ennui as the actors bicker and bore each other.

It’s the final act, however, that really lifts the piece into a true end-of-days febrility. The actors grab at the detritus of household goods that seems born on the flood, from pool lounges to giant rat costumes. They cower and lash out and sing disjointed snatches of music, all as the clock ticks faster and the sound design ramps into horror show. It’s creepy and rather exhilarating.

The piece finishes on a wonderful coup de theatre, as the naked performers walk into the light. It’s a piece with a strong dramaturgical spine, and delivered with flair and commitment by a performing group to watch.

Performers & Co-Creators: Charles Purcell, Kai Bradley, Marcus McKenzie, Rosie Clynes Sound Design & Co-Creator: Zak Pidd Set & Costume Design: Jonathan Hindmarsh Lighting Design: Katie Sfetkidis Lighting Assistant: Nick Moloney Dramaturgy: Katy Maudlin Stage Manager: Tonie-Rayne Steele Assistant Stage Manager: Thomas Crawford Producer: Natasha Phillips Associate Producer: Bron Belcher

The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport
Performance: Friday 18 May 2018 – 7.30pm
Season closed
Information: www.thesubstation.org.au

Image: Kai Bradley features in Apokalypsis – photo by Sarah Walker

Review: Tim Byrne