Bread & Roses Theatre, London
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Over the past year or two, the verbal rivalry between North Korea and the United States has dominated the headlines, echoes of the arms race between the ‘Two Tribes’ in the 1980s. Thank goodness we have someone ‘strong and stable’ to get us through these troubled times…
Returning once again to the character of Lotta Quizeen, Catherine Richardson stars in Serena Haywood’s Fallout. Directed by Lou-Lou Mason, we find Lotta holed-up in a nuclear bunker. We, as the audience, are invited to this private hideaway, while our host fills us in on what amenities are available. The pleasant and amusing chit-chat reveals that in this world the usual suspects are responsible for the current state of emergency. However, thanks to Lotta’s forward-thinking (and being her husband’s nominated significant other) the bunker we’re all situated in is prepped and ready for use.
Of course, with any doomsday scenario, there is the tricky business of men and women in confined quarters. Do we as human beings hang on to the vestiges of civilisation, and adhere to the mores regarding the relations of men and women, or will they be relaxed to accommodate the extraordinary circumstances?
From Lotta’s own lips we hear how Dickie had to decide between her and the other woman, while her son Hugo and his wife Susan haven’t been getting along. Lotta puts it down to the devotion Susan gives to her dog instead of Hugo, though the plethora of lady friends may be a deciding factor…
While Haywood’s play on the surface is a dystopian satire with a dash of Beckett, what the play is REALLY about doesn’t unfold until the end. When that occurs, we find out that #TEOTWAWKI – ‘the end of the world as we know it’ – relates to personal circumstances. Something one can’t prepare for, something that is very pertinent to the here and now.
© Michael Davis 2018
Fallout ran at Bread & Roses Theatre on 16th-18th July. It will also be performed in Edinburgh @thephoenixbaredinburgh 2-26 August 2.45pm.
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