Armageddapocalypse 2: The Explosioning

Alexandra Treacy 29 January 2010

This show blows Alexandra Treacy’s mind

ADC Theatre Lateshow – 11.00pm Wed 27th -Sat 30th January


I entered the first showing of ‘Armageddapocalypse’ with a sense of slight apprehension. Everyone I had spoken to about it had given me exactly the same warning-‘watch out for the explosions’ And so I think it only fair that, after seeing it, I should pass on the same warning to everyone else (with a slight addendum)-enjoy every minute of a fantastic show, and watch out for the explosions.

Jack Lang, secret agent, gun enthusiast and father of the year is drafted in to save the world yet again, with the aid of a sassy female sidekick and a cornucopia of incompetent minions. An original script by Lucien Young and James Moran, ‘Armageddapocalypse’ is one of the few shows to lie somewhere in the middle of Jane Austen and Batman, and a night out at the ADC that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

There seems very little point in my writing about the sickening amount of talent possessed by the cast of this show, but it ought to be celebrated somewhere. It is usual to get maybe two, perhaps three truly brilliant comedic actors in a show, with the others being good but not up to the same standard. ‘Armageddapocalypse’ has seven. Brilliantly delivered lines, well-timed dead-pan moments, perfectly arranged devised physical comedy; the huge potential of this group of people has been utilised to its fullest.

I have similarly glowing praise for the direction of the show. Whilst the individual brilliance of the performers is obvious throughout, the moments of beauty within the show are found within the excellently conceived ensemble work, creating a background of detail that moves ‘Armageddapocalypse’ from a funny play to an extraordinary experience. This is coupled with the high standard of the film direction within the piece, showing again that it really is the quality of the basics in a performance that shine through the most.

I’m not entirely sure how I’ve managed to get through three hundred words of a review of this show without mentioning the special effects; no doubt the best I could give for the acting and directing side of the piece. Including approximately 35 explosions at an estimated worth of £1200, this performance certainly got its priorities straight when it came to budgeting. Again, I could talk about the fact that the pyrotechnics were well choreographed and used to great effect, but does anyone really need to be convinced that explosions on stage make for an attention grabbing show? Lighting, AV and sound were also impressive, adding the icing to an already brilliant cake.

Owing to the huge array of technical wonders in the show, there were of course mistakes. However the cast and crew handled them like professionals they so clearly demonstrated they were, and the performance was possibly more enjoyable for it.

Having run out at the end to write this review, I was bombarded from all sides by people clamouring to give me quotes of praise for the show. If you know anyone who went to see it on the first night they’re likely to tell you that the entire audience was creased double for an hour and a half, which is a testament to the all-round excellence of the performance, the writing and the special effects. If you think this review has to have been exaggerated I invite you to buy a ticket and prove me wrong; remember to find a seat at the back…

Alexandra Treacy