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Top Story

Published Tuesday 8 January 2013 at 09:55 by Stuart Gidden

A beautiful but banal newsreader (Josephine Kime) breezily broadcasts the titular scenario of Sebastian Michael’s existential comedy - a meteor the size of LA is on a collision course with - the irony - LA, and the world will end in seven days.

Viewed by London flatmates Talfryn (Ed Pinker) and Gus (Lewis Goody), these brief, interspersed TV news send-ups provide easily the best moments. An early scene in particular, when a minister jettisons his morose mask mid-interview to declare his lust for Kime’s stunned anchorwoman, hints at the would-be satirical, carpe diem fun that could have been had here.

Sadly, the dismal threat of the play’s billing - ‘Godot meets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for the Facebook generation’ - is unleashed with the ponderous Talfryn and Gus. Rather than taking the sensible option of revelling until the bitter, licentious end, these dullards take the equally indulgent but dramatically stifling decision to lock themselves away, speak in circular dialogue echoing a sixth-former’s imitation of Beckett, and play a metaphysical and overblown version of chess as they await disaster.

A shame, as the excellent Kime is matched by sharp comic turns from Andy Hawthorne and Richard Matthews, and Pinker and Goody strive valiantly to breathe life to their ciphers. But, as with Armageddon, the struggle is futile.

Production information

The Old Vic Tunnels, London, January 7-February 2

Author:
Sebastian Michael
Director:
Adam Berzsenyi Bellaagh
Producer:
Caroline Couret-Delegue
Cast:
Lewis Goody, Ed Pinker, Josephine Kime, Richard Matthews, Andy Hawthorne, James Messer, Stephen Schreiber
Running time:
2hrs 20mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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