Edinburgh Fringe Review - Swansong

Civilisation has been destroyed by a water based apocalypse, and 4 survivors on a swan shaped pedalo sit contemplating their existence. Bobby is a new age hippie, Adam is a pessimistic know-it-all, Stephen is a polo shirt sporting 'lad' and Claire is an outdoor activities enthusiast. Not the most synergistic of parties. But bonded together one barbaric act (they murder a swan and eat it once Claire's protein bars run out). the unconventional troupe set their minds to founding a new civilisation, free from the societal pressures and inequalities of the past. 

In one particularly interesting turn of events, the group opt to leave any mention of religion out of their guidelines for the new world, however, their rejection of religion coincides with a musical interlude in which the audience witnesses the cast chanting hypnotically about the 4 founding members of the new world whilst walking around with their bodies slightly contorted to resemble the wings or neck of a swan. It is clear that the so called new world a form of worship or idolatry will inevitably take hold. These interesting abstract moments are in sharp contrast with the rest of the piece, and offer an interesting commentary on the role religion, spirituality and/or idolatry in society. 
Photo credit- Milly Smith
The concept of 4 strangers in a pedalo discussing the end of the world isn't immediately the most compelling of plots, and yet in Swansong the story is intriguing and unique enough to keep the audience riveted throughout. This is thanks in no small part to the cast who do a sterling job of making their rather stereotypical characters fun and relatable, even when they're faced with almost-certain death. 

All in all Swansong is a triumph which succeeds in portraying the end of the world trope in a creative new way, and raises some interesting questions about just what society would cling on to (both metaphorically and physically) if the world as we know it were to end. Catch it at the Pleasance Courtyard at 5pm every day until 29th August.