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© Jemima Young

Lydia Orange and Loukia Pierides

© Jemima Young
© Jemima Young

Malachy Orozco, Loukia Pierides and Daniel Somerville

The lamps are going out all over Europe (and the rest of the world) in National Art Service’s devised show ‘Sun’, a ponderous and pretentious piece that philosophises about the apocalypse. Against the magnificent backdrop of Shoreditch’s St Leonard’s Church, we watch couples, siblings and groups of friends trying to cope as the sun goes down for the last time in a series of fragmented, if loosely chronological scenes.

Lights pulse and flicker in Ziggy Jacobs’s atmospheric design, covering this elegant space in shadows that curve around its Georgian architecture. Pete Malkin’s ominous sound design, full of booms and low rumbles, brings a much needed dose of disquiet. Writer/director Alan Fielden capitalises on the imposing space in a nightmarish staging that, superficially at least, evokes images of the hell lustily portrayed in medieval religious paintings.

But for all his cast’s conviction, this work is a lot colder than those sweaty canvases. The actors are unable to connect emotionally with Fielden’s banal text, full of empty musings on love at the end of the world. His characters meander on about their favourite childhood memories, starlight and what ‘love used to be’ in a script that is riddled with the sort of affected poetry one might expect from an angsty teen, not an adult theatre maker.

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