Photos – Kieran Peek
The world has come to a catastrophic end… The stars are blipping out of existence, carnivorous fog is eating people alive, and if rumours are to be believed, Godzilla is walking the Earth, incinerating everything in its path. Meanwhile, Peter (Nick Maclaine) sips coffee in his favourite café, while he awaits his fate as a member of the, now endangered, human race. Of course that was the plan, right up until his imminent death is interrupted by Rachel (Arielle Gray), his ex-girlfriend. Together, the two relive old memories, trying to make sense of their past relationship, and perhaps figure out where it all went wrong.
In reality, this play is not at all about the end of the world. The fact that the apocalypse has come really doesn’t factor into the core of the narrative, it is merely an advantageous position in which to put two characters, and I believe that Scott McArdle (Writer/Director) has used this advantage to its fullest extent.
The power of this play lays in its polarities. I did not expect to laugh so much at a narrative about the end of the world, and a collapsing relationship, however, McArdle evokes a great deal of laughter from his audience. Equally, he seems to know how to evoke a great deal of sadness. It is the rapid movement between these emotions that give this play such intense energy. The comedic highs only serve to make the fall to the tragic lows all the greater.
The on stage performances of this two actor cast were easily strong enough to do this incredible play the justice it deserved. Nick Maclaine’s and Arielle Gray’s performances as Peter and Rachel were so sincere and genuine that I was almost convinced that an empty collared shirt was in fact a man, or that Peter wasn’t really talking to himself for a good few minutes.
The design team on this production evidently thought out every decision that they made. Simplicity is the theme that seems to tie the design together, whether it be light design, music, costume or set, nothing is superfluous, and everything is put to use or used to good effect.
The geek in me greatly appreciated the occasional pop-culture references, they were the cherry on the cake as far as I was concerned.
Perth Theatre Trust and Second Chance Theatre present
COINCIDENCES AT THE END OF TIME
by Scott McArdle
Director Scott McArdle
Venue: Studio | Subiaco Arts Centre
Dates: 29 June – 2 July 2016
Part of the 2016 Subiaco Theatre Festival