STAGE REVIEW: Nuclear Future @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (17.03.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newspapers held up to shield bleeding eyes ignite in a flash. Pedestrians sink screaming into suddenly-molten tarmac. Car roofs swim with bubbling paint and lurid colour. Skyscrapers dripping with liquid glass warp and bend before being swept away by a great wind. Uncountable lives ended in an instant, the lucky ones died while thousands upon thousands suffer in a radioactive, unrecognisable landscape.

That’s the picture painted for us by a captivating Josie Daxter in one-person work-in-progress play Nuclear Future presented as part of Live Theatre’s Elevator Festival featuring new plays by rising talent. Breathtaking in its scope – and underscored by a chilling preamble which ensures you have in your mind throughout that everything you are about to hear is true – the show explores the new threat of nuclear attack in the early 21st Century.

Jumping around vignettes skilfully painted by Daxter with zero staging, minimal props and an abstract video landscape, the show imagines how the world’s most dangerous weapons affect us all and our future, taking us from a lecture hall to the side of a survivor post-attack and into the heart of a nuclear detonation (via the beginning of the universe and time itself), Nuclear Future is illuminating and horrifying; a blood-curdling theatre of the mind, a stark warning and a bittersweet promise that there we still have hope even in the face of Armageddon.

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