Review: You Stupid Darkness! Sam Steiner, Southwark playhouse/Paines Plough By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

In an apocalyptic world, who would you turn to for help? You Stupid Darkness! shows us the extent of our harm to the World, but in the darkness, there is a light, with a group of volunteers offering their listening skills.

Our stage is set in a call centre/general office set up, while dilapidated from the ranging weather conditions of the destructive World outside, it is like any we would normally see. And when our volunteers come in, it would be hard to think that, once their gas masks come off and the door is closed on the wind, the snow, the gas, that this is set at any time but a usual, current day in England.

Throughout the play we see the volunteers take calls, make tea, eat doughnuts, bide time during the quieter times but ultimately get to know them individually and their growing friendship. Full of comedy, we easily connect with the character’s and laugh at the daily menial issues.

But entwined within this, there are times of sorrow, of pain, where their happy persona’s for the calls goes away and they are people in need of help and to talk themselves. We easily relate to this, showing that no matter the development of the World, we are all still scared, all facing family or other problems and that we can only adapt.

The performers are completely flawless – there is a real feeling to them; their character’s are well defined, they are perfected and they interact with one another with ease, making us feel as if we are looking through a 1 way mirror into their office.

As we get to know them more, we get to know the state of the World more; parts of the building begins to fail and fall, making us jump, and there is a slight uneasy feeling at this possible reality, while the 4 volunteers get on as if it is nothing.

You Stupid Darkness! is heartwarming, but also quite frightning in topic. While making a point on a climate/global level, we also learn a lot about friendship, love and enjoying the little things in life.

Ali Wright

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