Set in an apocalyptical world, After feels like a theatrical experiment on many levels. This is how the first production meeting may have gone: 'OK, there’s one script but it’s only half an hour long. So how do we make it longer? We do it twice!' Genius.

After feels like a theatrical experiment on many levels

So the experiment starts with this one short script being given to two different directors (Dodger Phillips for the first half, Rikki Tarascas for the second half) and four different actors: one mother/daughter and one father/son combo. This shouldn’t, but obviously does, draw the audience into comparisons between the two versions and thankfully there was no stand out as both sets of performances had their own merits.

The second production meeting possibly went like this: 'OK, we have the Speigeltent and it’s a big space plus we’ve got it for an hour and a half. Let’s put a band on as well!' Genius.

Music is usually used as a transition between scenes or to cover up complicated scene changes, neither of which happen in After. There are no complicated scene changes, the furniture doesn’t move. There is hardly any furniture, there’s just a band. And the band plays for what seems like an awfully long time. The music is good, but the musicians are hidden behind a semi-see through screen on which images are projected. I kept hoping the screen would fall away to reveal Bob Dylan in a wig trying out some new material but it didn’t. I don’t think I was alone in thinking what was the point?

The point of the music could have been what (may have) happened in the third production meeting. 'OK, let’s make this a multi-media multi-skilled piece. Let’s have puppets!' Genius.

So the music plays whilst black-clad puppeteers manoeuvre cute, fluffy, jumping bunnies around during the first piece. Syreeta Kumar is stunning as a mother struggling to cope with both her stroppy daughter, modestly played by Echo Phillips, and living in this harsh post-apocalyptical world.

During the second piece, Tom Dussek brings a different feel to his father figure injecting the piece with some much-needed humour, but is equally excellent. The absolute star of the show is his young (actual) son Dan Dussek, parading around in a blood stained rabbit jump suit and managing to convey innocence with a sense of danger combined. Just to warn any animal lovers out there - the rabbits are not pets.

It’s the puppetry of the second piece that could have caused mass hysteria, as two severed rabbit heads with evil red eyes are paraded in front of the audience whilst the secret band plays. It’s obviously deep meaning was completely lost on this heathen.

Without the pointless band, without the weird rabbits, After would have been an fascinating theatrical experiment: a thought-provoking script, written by Craig Jordan Phillips, with some seriously great acting. With all the other things happening it just felt a bit odd.

Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, if one person started laughing, then it would have given everyone cause to, but on this occasion the King managed to get away with being naked and nobody said a word.

Reviews by Christine Kempell

Underbelly, Bristo Square


Pleasance Courtyard

Emma Sidi: Faces of Grace

theSpace @ Jurys Inn

The Big Lie

Underbelly, George Square

Siblings: Acting Out

Rialto Theatre

Martin Lingus

Brighton Spiegeltent / Rialto Theatre



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

A tale of power, parenthood and a rabbit. Set in a post-apocalyptic future where history is lost, this short play is performed twice per show by a mother, Syreeta Kumar (Notes on a Scandal, The Infidel, The Buddha of Suburbia) and her daughter Echo, and by a father, Tom Dussek (Glengarry Glen Ross, Doing What it Says on the Tin, the voice of Gorilla Glue) and his son Dan. Each version of the play has been developed separately by directors Dodger Phillips and Rikki Tarascas . Written by Craig Jordan-Baker (Beowulf, Tommy O'Quire). 'After' explores what we pass on to our kids; whether they want it or not.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets