Going Ape by Andrew Corbet Burcher. The Union Theatre, Union Street, London SE1 to 10 July 2021. 3*** stars. William Russell.

A victim of Covid last year thise odd little comedy about how the world began directed by Evan Ensign has finally made it onto the Union stage. It is set 300 years after God decided to take a rest. Adam is bored, having named all the animals, and more than fed up living on the diet of apple dishes Eve produces. Some excitement is coming as their son Cain, who has been wandering the world for killing his brother Abel, is coming for a visit and he brings a surprise, a companion called Australopithecus Afarensis who is rather hairy and a bit like an ape. Things improve when their other son Seth, who is good on the bongo drum, turns up with his new friend Genevieve, who is sinuous and snake like. Then Australetcetera springs a surprise. She turns into Lucy, a glamorous blonde determined to take over where God left off as he had not finshed the job. Evolution is here and in no time she has the show on the road, God, having woken up, presumably on the ninth day, agreeing she can continue. It will be called Genesis. There are some crisp lines, the cast perform manfully in the face of considerable odds – there were more people on stage the night I saw it than in the audience, the rest of the world being engaged in watching England defeat whoever it was. Maybe the shout a bit too much, but confronted with a virtually empty auditorium what else is there to do? Sian Lloyd conjures up a nice but none too bright Welsh Adam effectively, Melanie La Barrie makes a matriarchal Eve, and Laura Tyrer is a hard as nails Cecille B DeMill putting on that show. Henry Collie, who plays Seth, is a wow on the bongo drums, Anabel Kutay, who also choreographed the big dance number, is suitably sinuous as his girlfriend and the serpent, while Gabriel Vick makes a slightly dangerous but posh yobbo Cain who is not as tough as he would like to think he is even if he is guilty of fratricide. It is certainly different from anything I have seen of late, which is no bad thing. As for how Evolution has worked? Evidence may not have been in the audience, but out in the Union courtyard there were plenty descendants of all on stage having a party.
Adam Sian Lloyd.
Eve: Melanie La Barrie.
Cain: Gabriel Vick.
Lucy: Laura Tyrer.
Seth: Henry Collie.
Genevieve: Anabel Kutay.

Director: Evan Ensign.
Costume Designer: Cieranne Kennedy-Bell.
Set Designer: Poppy Corbet Burcher.
Sound Designer: Thomas Evans.
Choreographer: Anabel Kutay.

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection