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The End

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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When we arrived to see The End it had already begun and by the end of The End I was so entranced that I wasn’t entirely sure it had, in fact, ended.

Michael Pinchbeck and his apprentice, Ollie Smith, are performing for their last and first times respectively. Hiding under their purposefully measured back and forth we catch glimpses of a more complex relationship lurking beneath the surface. Their differences become irreconcilable as the younger performer takes control of the piece and Pinchbeck is reduced to doing the get-out on his own.

The piece looks at what it means to be a performer when every exit ushers in another entrance, when the end of a show only means beginning again and when each get-out only ushers in another fit-up. Even careers never truly end, when each older actor is compared with and then replaced by a younger model in a never ending chain of performers. In searching for the end, all we find are circles and repeats but the important thing to search for is the tiny variations in the next iteration.

The two performers guide us gently through this beautiful and slightly melancholy piece as they head tirelessly towards an end that will only ask them to begin again.


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