Boom at Theatre 503: review by Stephen Vowles

Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is an extraordinary play that looks at the subject of apocalyptic human annihilation which, after some initial bewilderment, is both as disturbing as it is entertaining. It’s the story of Jules played by Will Merrick who has placed himself in a bunker to protect himself from the fall out of a huge meteor striking earth and ending civilisation as he knows it. Jo, played by Nicole Sawyerr, answers his personal advert on the basis that she thinks it’s an amusing way to hook up for sex. Jules reveals the fact that he is gay and the comedy begins.

Nachtrieb beautifully reinforces the belief that in an orderly world everyone follows a hugely regimented pattern as explained by Mandi Symonds as Barbara, a Wizard of Oz inspired character who moves levers and handles to manipulate the proceedings. She also pounds on a drum which adds a frightening effect that is not for the faint-hearted as the play moves to its pivotal climax.

As a study in human relationships, self acceptance and realisation Nachtrieb raises some powerful questions. There are sections in the play that are both absorbing and to be honest bizarre bordering on the bonkers. However the interaction between Jo and Jules is palpable and smoothly resonates adding a thought-provoking idea that if we are living our lives in a goldfish bowl, who is watching? A delirious satire that requires concentration. Stick with it.

Boom runs to until Saturday 26th August at Theatre 503, Battersea Park Road. Box office 0207 978 7040

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