Swansong (4 stars)

This article is from 2016


credit: Milly Smith

Apocalyptic comedy from talented company DugOut Theatre

Following the success of 2015's The Sunset Five, DugOut Theatre return to the Fringe with a new original play about four strangers stranded in a swan pedalo, drifting following a flood that has wiped out civilisation. In similar vein to The Sunset Five, the characters begin as types – non-materialist vegan Bobby, adventure-sport loving Claire, intellectual Andy and posh lad Steven, with his gang of ridiculously nicknamed mates who love a drunken jape.

In a tightly written script, the clash of personalities leads to plenty of tension and arguments aboard the pedalo, while the creative direction breaks up the scenes on the single-set play with choreographed movement and songs sung in the round.

As the realisation dawns that they are the only four survivors, they plan new rules for a future world, deciding to change the meaning of derogatory swear words to great comic effect and constructing delightfully unhelpful explanations of the things they miss in a boggled attempt to help future generations.

In Swansong, the actors, script and direction work in excellent harmony to create a funny yet touching play about friendship that finds not just the comedy in the apocalypse but the positivity.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug (not 16), 5pm, £7.50–£11 (£8.50–£10).


  • 4 stars

DugOut Theatre The rain has finally stopped. Four people survive. They are in a swan pedalo. After acclaimed Fringe hits Fade, Inheritance Blue and The Sunset Five, DugOut Theatre return to ask what we’d remember if we started again. Age category: 14+