After the End is a brilliantly executed psychological thriller of post-apocalyptic proportions.
Playwright Dennis Kelly has crafted a modern, edgy and suspense-filled tale of two friends trapped in a 1980's relic of an underground bunker.
Director Daniel Clarke maintains the knife-edge tension throughout clearly portraying what happens when relationships become unbalanced - how a circle of love can spiral out of control into a cycle of violence.
This is no happily ever after the end. It is an insightful and powerful edge-of-the-seat drama. An underlying current of tension is overt from the start as Louise (Hannah Norris) awakes to find herself bunkered down with Mark (Nick Pelomis).
Designer Wendy Todd has crafted a sleek, stark, shiny stainless steel set. This is no warm and cosy shelter. It is a cold underground hideout that cleverly places the focus on the two very real main characters.
Hannah Norris superbly depicts a feisty, warm and appealing Louise, who is stunned and frightened to find herself in her friend’s underground bunker. With awakening horror she hears of her rescue in the aftermath of a terrorist nuclear suitcase bomb.
Nick Pelomis equally rises to the occasion with his portrayal of the nervous and nerdy Mark, who slowly and skillfully reveals a controlling and cruel side to his nature.
Together these two cleverly weave a web of intrigue as the games begin – and these are serious games. Never has a game of Dungeons and Dragons seemed so sinister. What begins as humorous bickering takes a more ominous twist. There may be war outside the bunker, but there is no doubt that a battle supreme is reigning within.
After the End is frightening on many levels. It is frightening to realize how a 1980's nuclear shelter can so easily be plausible as a 21st terrorist shelter. Scary, too, is the fine balance that can sometimes exist between love and obsessive need. It is worrisome, to say the least, to see so clearly the machinations of a person in control creating an atmosphere of self-doubt and self-deprivation in another.
Perhaps most disturbing of all is the realization of the far-reaching effects of the fall-out of the misuse of power and violence.
Daniel Clarke presents
After The End
by Dennis Kelly
Directed by Daniel Clark
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre | 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Dates: 25 Feb 2009 - 22 Mar 2009
Tickets: Adult $35, Conc $25, Preview Night $20, Free tix $0
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Bookings: 1300 FRINGE (1300 374643) | www.adelaidefringe.com.au