There’s social unrest in the North, disease in the South. Yet here we remain, somewhat safe, somewhat uneasy, yet forever entertained in the confines of the Cabapocalypsaret. The Creative Martyrs have created a wonderfully atmospheric, snug little cabaret act that imagines the aftermath of an apocalypse. Each audience member is encouraged to find a skill that will help reform the human race as news comes in from the outside world. It is a delightfully bonkers idea that is compellingly performed by two fantastic hosts whose knack for storytelling is as accomplished as the beautiful compositions they create with their instruments and voices. With a cello and a ukulele, our edgy hosts perform darkly humorous musical numbers to accompany the feelings of unrest that they themselves create.
This is some of the most impressive audience participation I have ever taken part in; we edge ever closer to Lord of the Flies territory as the recreation of society is continuously put in danger. The hosts occasionally ask for suggestions from the audience and they eagerly weave the replies into the narrative of the piece. It’s a highly impressive move and it completely engulfs the audience into the story that has been created. They managed to create a sense of community as audience participation was impeccably drawn into the show, which certainly seemed to confuse the barman at the back of the room, who looked generally bemused as to what was going on. This is not to say that audience members are dragged up onto the stage as it’s never that awkward, our participation is more from supporting the performers in moving the story forward.
The two performers are nothing short of spectacular, they are instantly charming yet otherworldly. Their music is beautiful and haunting yet the lyrics exceptionally funny. They have the balance done perfectly; the final song in particular is outstanding. The songs are sometimes let down by not having the hosts mic’d up as the satirical lyrics can be muffled under the instruments but its a small flaw in a show that is perhaps one of the most original pieces of theatre to catch at the festival this year.