Fresh perspectives on the post-apocalypse are hard to find as much of the iconography has already been handed down. Philip Ridley’s ambitious new play, Karagula, inherits much from its forebears, creating a world that is both strange and familiar. Beneath the Planet of the Apes gets a particular spanking for its subterranean telepaths and cult of the atomic bomb, and that’s before we get to the Cloud Atlas time-hopping and Battle Royale betrayal of the young. There’s a lot going on.
With a striking production design by Shawn So and a brave but embattled cast, there is much to admire in Ridley’s characteristically dark prophecy. Tighter control from director Max Barton, and fewer made-up words from Mr Ridley, would have delivered a gut-punch about humanity’s fondness for self-destruction that seems sorely missing come the climax.
Having said that, for a show that delivers Elvis impersonators, organic bullets dug from live flesh and enough battle chaos to rival Terminator Salvation, there’s a lot here to love.