Vile Bodies presents – After the End | Theatre Review
The Lyric Theatre, Belfast
By Emer Dooris
Vile Bodies production of After the End is an intense and at times uncomfortable journey of bodies in a bunker. The production is demanding on its audience, it has you on the edge of your seat and doubting your own judgement.
It is also demanding on its actors, standing up to the challenge are recent graduates of the Lir Academy Paul Livingstone and Maria Guiver both strip (yes there is full frontal nudity), climb and scream there way through this production, they made us feel like voyeurs in this intimate setting and both brought a lot of good energy to their roles.
The premise of Dennis Kelly’s 2005 psychological and political thriller is boy meets girl but in a black mirror modern world. Mark (Livingstone) has carried Louise (Guiver) back to his bunker in his back garden to save her from a nuclear bomb. But all is not what is seems. The audience question if this could be possible throughout the 1hr 45min production, could the world end any minute now. The direction is modern and with Trumps Twitter debates with Kim Jong-un, it feels like is possible. The production is thought-provoking. However, I felt it was just a little too long and the pace was a little slow. Maybe with a few more runs, confidence and a small edit this would be more palatable and effective in its message.
However in saying that this is a courageous production for a company cutting their teeth and I look forward to seeing what Vile Bodies presents in the future.