How to Survive an Apocalypse ★★★ Finborough Theatre | Sep 28 - Oct 23, 2021


How to Survive an Apocalypse is a romantic comedy lightly camouflaged as something deeper through references to survival if the supply chain breaks down. It resonates with our current situation, but this is entirely coincidental as the Canadian play was written in 2016. Luckily, in Jimmy Walters' neat and tidy production, it receives four excellent performances. Kristin Atherton is outstanding as Jen, the millennial wife who fears for the future as her marriage seems to be going nowhere. The most amusing performance comes from Noel Sullivan as her husband, Tim. Sullivan really nails the character's lost puppy-dog persona as he garners more laughs than are written in the script. Christine Gomes is charming as Abby, the play's least showy part. Ben Lamb dominates the stage as Bruce, the arrogant young executive who is happy to become a hunter/gatherer if needs be. However, what he hunts and gathers best are the women around him. By far the best scene in the play is when the quartet go on a camping and shooting weekend. Ceci Calf's clever design works particularly well here. Sullivan is really funny as the inept Tim struggling to keep up with Bruce who is in his element. This is not quite 'Carry on Camping' but when it descends into a fight it is very amusing. Philip d'Orléans the fight director gets it just right. At the end of a romcom, uncertainty about whether a relationship will work out is often charming. However for us, the play's conclusion without addressing that pesky, central "apocalypse" issue feels somewhat unsatisfying.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Sam Taylor.

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