Thu. May 23rd, 2024


If you aren’t quite sure what to expect with this play, think Groundhog Day meets A Midsummer Nights’ Dream with the apocalypse (OK, a few) thrown in for good measure. We follow two souls who are intrinsically linked together through time, held in a loop of re-connecting, falling in love, and then shattering, in the midst of a forest, surrounded by mushrooms. The scene starts off in the year 2025, with our young couple having trekked out to a forest to observe the solar flare, foretold to be the next apocalypse. One a believer and the other a skeptic,…

Rating



Excellent

A dark and humorous play about friendship and love between two star- crossed lovers in a constant loop of beginnings and ends.

If you aren’t quite sure what to expect with this play, think Groundhog Day meets A Midsummer Nights’ Dream with the apocalypse (OK, a few) thrown in for good measure. We follow two souls who are intrinsically linked together through time, held in a loop of re-connecting, falling in love, and then shattering, in the midst of a forest, surrounded by mushrooms.

The scene starts off in the year 2025, with our young couple having trekked out to a forest to observe the solar flare, foretold to be the next apocalypse. One a believer and the other a skeptic, it’s only a matter of time before heads start to roll as secrets and deceit unravel during the course of the day. The end of the world is nigh, but it is overshadowed by the end of their friendship and love. 

The scenes move between the years 934, 1780, and 2025, focusing on reincarnated souls, with a friends-to-lovers trope in the midst of personal strife. The world doesn’t end but their friendship and love do. The two characters struggle through the cultural expectations and taboos that are unique to each period, yet somehow stay the same across time. There is a yearning for something more, but the pair cannot quite complete the circle to realise their destiny and attain happy, loving, and fulfilling lives.

Kalifa Taylor as Astrid, Aster, and Astra is spellbinding. Her confidence, charm, and charisma come through in each portrayal. While her quick-fire witty dialogue connects with the audience, it is Phoebe Cresswell, that navigates the change in timeline. Cresswell’s characters Ysra, Ursula, and Sula stand out, with personalities, accents, and languages of each period to suit, thus allowing the audience to easily follow the story.

The characters both rebel, struggling against society’s expectations, judgments, and homophobia. The mushroom-infested forest becomes their ‘pied-à-terre’. But soon their friendship implodes under the pressures, and their souls are scattered across the cosmos, only to reunite and forge the bonds again: Groundhog Day, except neither is aware of it. So the question is, how does one overcome past mistakes if that awareness or memory is lost? This is one of my pet peeves about the idea of reincarnation and karma. How do you make it right, when you don’t know what went wrong? How do you make the future better, if you don’t acknowledge – or in this case don’t know – the mistakes you made in the past? Why does history repeat itself, with human beings in an endless loop of anger, hate, jealousy, hurt, pride, and self-destruction? These are powerful questions, asked by writer Alice Flynn, and they are thought-provoking.

The flow of the action breaks up midway when Taylor and Cresswell orate a jarring sequence of historic doomsday events. Why fixate on significant world disasters when the play works well enough without this? The focus deviates from the conflict between the three pairs, and the end of their own worlds as the threads of friendship and love are cut.

Still, this is a thoroughly enjoyable production, with a strong message by Flynn and powerful performances by both Cresswell and Taylor that will linger.


Written by: Alice Flynn
Directed by: Alice Robb
Produced by: Becca Rowson

1000 Ways The World Will End (and how it starts again) plays at King’s Head Theatre as part of Queer Futures Season until 12 August. Further information and bookings can be found here.


By Sandra Winters

Writer | Author | Wordsmith Passionate about crafting stories that captivate and inspire. Published author of [Book Title]. Dedicated to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through the power of words. Join me on this literary journey as we delve into the realms of imagination and uncover the beauty of storytelling.