Review by Nicole Kelly
Life, and this world we have become a part of is rapidly shifting, with every breath we take, we find ourselves closer to our last. Where? When? How? There is no time to question, to marvel at the possibilities of what if, or maybe – the end is nigh, and this is it.
After takes its audience on an emotive journey from the offset. Upon entering the theatre, the audience are greeted with the minimal but purposeful set, designed by Eugenia Genuchi infringed with the emotional landscape of live-stream film, and documented moments by José Miguel Jiménez. Under the incredible but firm direction of Liv O’Donoghue, we observe the lives of two people – Clara (Clara Simpson) and Kip (Kip Johnson) in intimate quarters, whose performance leaves you holding onto the edge of your seat listening to the pulsing sound (Music & Sound Design, Kevin Gleeson) of the drum of many a heartbeat.
We witness how these two individuals have coped – and failed to cope with the mentally draining, terrifying prospect of the end of the world – through the echo of the seven stages of grief. Shock, anger, denial, boredom, fear and acceptance which we find ourselves as audience members captivated by, as the lighting (Sarah Jane Shiels) pulls our focus from the bright roaring reds to the soft yellows – we are but a shadow of this journey.
In turn, Clara and Kip respond to the projection of their final days, signalling the end of a world, of their world, – of their relationship and how they deal with seeing their own grief, in response to the possible extinction of humankind, when there is no one left to remember…
After explores this united feeling of fear, coupled with indifference, and the shimmering of hope on the dance room floor combined with colour and light. It illustrates that despite After being about the end of the world, it reminds us that it is not all going to be doom and gloom. We as human beings must search for and create humour in times like this and maybe, just maybe you will find that all elusive dinosaur there waiting for you.