Picnic Apocalyptic

Richard Fredman and Rich Rusk

Babolin Theatre

Bedlam Theatre

From 06 August 2012 to 11 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Babolin Theatre returns to the Fringe with another intriguing play written and directed by Richard Fredman who has been nominated five times for a Total Theatre Award.

In Picnic Apocalyptic, the gifted cast presents the ending of the world as Armageddon faces the population. It starts fairly innocuously with the audience being asked to name a significant or memorable place which is written on a polystyrene cup; I’ll not reveal what happens to them in the end, you had to be there.

A horde of apocalyptic demons dressed in grotesque fat suits with bandages on their heads and hideous makeup on their faces announce that the end of the world is today.

Bespectacled brother Wormwood is about to reveal the telling of the scrolls of doom with this motley crew, the detritus of the world that worship the man who spits and the quest is to discover who he is.

There is a tragic love story of Belle or Jezebel who is jilted on her wedding day and an undercurrent of sinister family relationships.

Alongside this anarchic madness, the cast are participating in a village fair complete with tea tent, biblical tour of the sites, a tombola and even a raffle.

Yes it’s a confusing concept but in the hands of this superb ensemble, who clearly demonstrated their skills in physical theatre and considerable singing talents, you had to admire their sheer commitment acting ability and bravado.

The Fringe is all about discovering new, quirky and challenging work and this devised show is a perfect example, lunacy abounds.