Review: Songs for the End of the World at Liverpool Everyman ***1/2
Is it the end of the world as we know it? And do we feel fine?
Maybe more confused, conflicted – and confrontational in this piece of wily and inventive ‘gig theatre’ by Dom Coyote and his fellow musician/actors/devisers the Bloodmoneys, a political commentary on the here and now run through the prism of Space Oddity eyes.
Earth is riven by strife and distrust, split between the ‘them’ (free radicals) who survive in a dystopian city hell and the ‘us’ who thrive in a perfect Pleasantville construct called Ashley Coombe, a land with high walls to keep out the many undesirables and created by a sinister Big Brother-style company called New Global.
In the midst of this we find our protagonist, amateur astronaut Jim Walters (regular Kneehigh collaborator Dom Coyote) who has been fired in to space by New Global to start a new, brighter, cleaner – more exclusive – colony on Mars.
But 50 days in, all he can do is look on helplessly from his space craft Saxon One, hurtling around ‘New Albion’ as it starts to disintegrate in one gigantic, thunderous, drum-filled implosion.
The meditative, fractured storytelling is punctuated by Coyote’s hauntingly melodic, and at times raucous punk-infused, songs of love, loss, confusion, rebellion and resignation.
The show’s spacey atmosphere can seem a little thin at times, but there’s certainly plenty to ponder on in its subject matter, and some great musicianship to enjoy along the way.
Is it the end of the world as we know it? And will we feel fine?