Heads Up (4 stars)

This article is from 2016.

Heads Up

credit: Jassy Earl

Apocalyptic one-man epic from Kieran Hurley, the creator of Beats

Across a city just like this one, people rush towards the apocalypse they have no idea is coming. A teenage girl deals with the anxiety of having a compromising photograph of herself passed around school by a boy she used to like. A coked-up rock star is about to become a father, and he can't remember to which girlfriend. A man grimaces out every desperate smile as he serves up coffee over the counter, because he needs this job and he needs to be a people person to keep it. Only Mercy sees what's on its way. She works in futures, and the numbers tell her all of this is coming to an end.


This sprawling, Short Cuts-esque series of vignettes is told in expansive, poignant style by one man sitting at a desk, his face uplit by lamps bolted to it as he marshals an orchestral series of musical cues (looped riffs here and there from PJ Harvey, Parquet Courts, David Bowie, and more). Those familiar with Kieran Hurley's previous one-man-and-a-DJ hit show Beats will be aware of his ability to fuse musical backing with rhythmic, lyrical textual content, and this treatise (co-created by Alex Swift and AJ Taudevin) on recognising and adapting to change is a similarly gripping immersive experience.

Summerhall, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), 7.05pm, £11 (£10).

Heads Up

Multi award-winner Kieran Hurley weaves a picture of a familiar city at its moment of destruction, asking what would we do if we found ourselves at the end of our world as we know it.

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