Fancy some apocalypse fun? Head to Richmond

This Is Local London: The end: My only friend, the end The end: My only friend, the end

To experience the end of days, go and see It Just Stopped at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre.

Stephen Sewell’s dark and thought-provoking play centres around Franklin (Joseph Kloska) and Beth (Emma Pallant), two 30-something Americans relying on technology to facilitate their careers.

One day though, it all just stops.

Kloska and Pallant hold up equally intense performances in a world of uncertainty, at all times refusing to venture further than their Melbourne apartment through fear of what they will discover outside.

I have never seen a play quite like it and Sewell draws you in by having the two main characters denying the apocalypse that is heading for them for much of the first half.

Franklin battles with his loyalty to the arts and Wagner while Beth just wants to be able to get to work to produce radio shows for a seedy shock-jock.

The introduction of loud-mouthed Australians Bill (John Bowler) and Pearl (Cate Debenham-Taylor) breathes new life into the play as Franklin and Beth come to accept things will never be the same again.

Bowler and Debenham-Taylor have excellent chemistry and provide many laugh-out-loud moments, even as the sinister reason for their appearance becomes clear.

All four actors do Sewell proud and this terrific blend of humour and drama suits the Orange Tree Theatre’s round seating layout perfectly.

The play’s conclusion seems a little over-the-top and excessive but Sewell promised much from this intense burner of a play and you cannot deny the facts - it makes you stop and think.

It Just Stopped runs until March 8, with tickets and information available at orangetreetheatre.co.uk

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