After What Comes Before

After What Comes Before is a Dr. Strangelove of shows: odd and manic but seriously amusing for those in on the joke. This mad scientist tour de force features frenetic physical comedy, lightning-fast wordplay and expert sleight of hand. The plot and the science don’t stand up under close inspection, but it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the utter weirdness. While some of the sight gags are too drawn out and the daring verbal stunt-pilots occasionally crash and burn, this show is not to be missed.

The show is set in a laboratory located nowhere near reality. As the audience enters, the Psychotherapist (if the characters had names, I didn’t catch them) sits brooding atop a box. The Physicist and the Neurosurgeon later emerge from the same box, like rabbits popping out of a magician’s hat. After What Comes Before boasts an extremely clever set, with multiple panels and small doors which are rotated and opened to reveal props and actors. Closet mad scientists will drool over the small, detailed decorations of hand-drawn neurons, atoms, and the like.

The acting and the characters are far from naturalistic and are even a little frightening, but once you’ve gotten used to this the whole affair is good fun. The Psychotherapist, your bog-standard evil scientist with a permanently furled brow and madness in his eyes, has a plan. He wants to build a machine that can balance and extract people’s unbalanced thoughts and turn them into normal, productive citizens. To do this, he needs to the help of the Physicist, a deranged little leprechaun of a man. They are joined by the Neurosurgeon, a dreamy man given to sudden flights of verbal fancy. He appeared to have just woken up from a nap and wandered out of an episode of Brideshead Revisited.

These mad scientists who plot to make the world sane eventually succeed in building their machine. They then decide to test it on one of the trio; I won’t divulge what happens, although I will say that the ending was rather abrupt. Sometimes the characters’ repeated verbal tics got tiring and some of the physical humour, particularly a bit involving some glue, was prolonged more than was necessary or funny. The show’s strength lay in the actors’ sleight of hand. All of the magic tricks were seamlessly incorporated and faultlessly executed. “Would you like some homemade lemonade?” asks the Psychotherapist and a bottle appears in his hand. A rubber fish also made a surprise appearance during a “mental stimulation” sequence, among a plethora of other objects.

If you appreciate energetic comedy, a good barrage of science-related words, and some artfully deployed rubber fish, do head over the Greenside and catch these three mad scientists performing this demanding and delightful piece.

Reviews by Lauren Moreau


Near Gone

Dance Base

An Invitation...

Greenside @ Nicolson Square

She Loves Me

Pommery Champagne Cafe Bar

Champagne Tutored Tasting


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now


The Blurb

Combining a raw, energised and wordy playfulness Manic Chord present a darkly comic and physical tale. Three scientists construct a machine but become the subjects of their own experiment, unearthing the unexpected and questioning their creation.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets