4 Min Read

Secrets of the Apocalypse: Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All

Fans of all things apocalyptic gather round! Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All is like your favourite dystopian novel brought to life on stage with a side of reality TV.

Presented by Beyond The Yard Theatre this production holds nothing back, dropping audiences straight into a family’s breaking point. Siblings Holly (Bubble Maynard), Marcus (Liam Longley) and Carrie (Bianca Roose) are confined to their government issued bunker and by self-appointment only Holly is allowed to venture above ground into the poisonous air, infected by “Virus X”. As tension builds between them, after spending four years in the bunker, it’s evident each sibling is holding their own secret. Things change when Holly brings a mysterious (and unconscious) man, Rich (Joe Haworth), into the bunker who further escalates the friction.

Cast of Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All. Photography by Pete Townsend 

There’s no questioning that we are certainly in a bunker when entering the performance space. Set and props designer Owen Davis has pulled off one of the most impressive transformations of The Blue Room Theatre that I’ve ever seen. The space is kitted out with a set that consumes the space, which is covered with props, giving a scarily realistic feeling. I hope this is as close to a real bunker as I’ll ever get.

Writer and director Terrence Smith has put a concerted effort into making this a tight and engaging piece, by looking to different modes of storytelling to enhance the show and move it along at swift pace. Terrence has utilised the popular reality tv interview format, known as ‘confessional’s’, to provide a mix of both context to the story and inner character dialogue. We watch these confessionals via three screens, placed separately throughout the space, which play simultaneously. It’s an interesting addition to this form of storytelling and aids in revealing each character’s motivations without resorting to monologues or breaking the fourth wall. It’s also a nice opportunity to see the performers’ stage and screen acting.

Cast of Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All. Photography by Pete Townsend 

While certain characters hold more mystery than others, they all feel just as important to the story and are given equal time on stage. This time is spent wisely by the cast who each deliver thoughtful and believable performances. Liam Longley as Marcus is particularly endearing as his introverted character, who is coming to terms with sexuality while trying to appease his strong-willed sisters. Bubble as Holly and Bianca as Carrie have a genuine sibling like connection, taking on the age-old story of ‘youngest versus eldest sibling’ in the battle for power with great vigour. As the questionable friend or foe Rich, Joe spices up the sibling dynamic and clearly takes joy in his character’s mysterious demeanour.

The entire piece is set to an original score by Pete Townsend who also did the AV we see in the confessionals (and at other points). Both the sound and AV design feel seamlessly ingrained in the piece while providing genuine moments of interest and intrigue.

This team should be proud of the synergy between each element shown on stage.

Cast of Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All. Photography by Pete Townsend 

Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All utilises a lot of familiar tropes associated with pieces about the end of the world/humanity and it’s interesting watching such a show now that we’ve gone through something similar; albeit less apocalyptic (thank god!). I appreciate the way Terrence has used this as an interesting setting for the piece but not made it the entire subject of the work. Instead, it focuses on each character’s secrets and motivations which are (SPOILER) ultimately their downfall not “Virus X”. And there’s no denying it’s certainly more fun sitting in a bunker watching a family drama than in suburbia.

Trust Me, It’s the End of Our World After All is on now and runs to Sep 3 at The Blue Room Theatre.