Stuart Bowden expertly manages to perform a rather sad and dark story in a completely hilarious way. This low-tech, DIY one man show about the end of the world and a woman from space manages to be funny, endearing, sad and absurd simultaneously. Alone on stage, describing the one he loves, Bowden shows vulnerability that is not often seen within comedy.
The story takes place in the distant future, where Bowden is the sole survivor on Earth. He clings to the memory of his dead ex-girlfriend Victoria and his dead dog, Jasmine. He speaks to the moon and has an encounter with an outer space being, Celeste. Celeste has lived for 25,000 years and is quite an unusual character.
Even before the show starts there was a smattering of giggles at Bowden’s sheet-clad presence on stage. The giggles and laughs continue when he describes in detail how the audience members will die. Then the laughter never dies. Having seen some of Bowden’s previous shows I can say that this performance is much more comic than his earlier work. He is first and foremost a storyteller and this surreal story carries a dark undertone, even touching on themes such as insanity. Bowden’s character copes with his loneliness in a very disturbing way but the sincerity and innocence of Bowden’s portrayal makes it light-hearted. Just when a scene is starting to become too serious or tragic he undercuts it with a joke. Transitions between Bowden’s character and Celeste’s character are hilarious and use of music is fitting. If you are familiar with the work of Phil Burgers (Dr. Brown) and his clowning skills then you will find similarities within this play, seeing as Bowden and Burgers have been collaborating on this show and Bowden has included some clowning skills, listening to every sound from the audience and including it in the performance.
Combined with his soft musicianship and immediate likeability this show is utterly compelling from the start to finish.