Written and performed by Kieran Hurley
A desk, table top sound equipment, a candle in the darkness and a barefoot man in a suit. The rest is sound. A rich, melodic voice talking, talking, talking. Shifts of tempo, tales of random souls and the drip, drip, drip of impending doom.
This 2016 Fringe Award winner is hypnotic storytelling but this is no bedtime story by candlelight, it is a ferocious and visceral assault. A tale of an apocalyptic event with a slow burning fuse that fizzes through four lives photoshoped from the media.
Mercy works in Futures and sees Armageddon coming, preaching a warning to others and seeming unhinged in her desperation. Ash is 13 and slut shamed in school, cringing in a toilet cubicle as her fragile teenage identity implodes. Abdullah is stoned and paranoid as he smiles and smiles pouring drinks in a corporate coffee house. Leon is a coke fuelled pop star saving icebergs and bees in a fugue of media hype while his girlfriend gives birth alone.
These characters are fragmented elements of all of us. Their stories collide and connect and are reframed as the apocalypse shakes down our existence and our humanity. The sonic boom is deafening and seems to go on forever then bleeds into exquisite choral music. As Mercy repeats her mantra What we have is now everything changes and we adapt as we always have.
Hurley is a gifted writer and a skilful storyteller. There is poetry is every gesture and anguished expression. This is a performance in which he wrings out every drop of self. The result may not be to everyones taste but at best it makes you wake up and really feel alive.
At Home until 20th May then touring.