Dangerous Visions 2016: Review: Dark Vignettes 1: Blackout

BlackoutWritten and directed by Julian Simpson

BBC Radio 4, May 22. Click here to listen

What happens when the lights go out?

One of the more frightening statistics about a potential breakdown of society is the speed with which it’s predicted to occur if the power were to stop – and shops didn’t get more produce, generators were to cease working etc. Julian Simpson’s 13 minute monologue, beautifully delivered by Nicola Walker, is a diary of how easily things can fall apart, and how people’s attitudes can change the moment that their comfort zone is ripped away from them. If you were a fan of Survivors (in any of its incarnations) then you’ll find much in this short play, told from the point of view of an ordinary person caught up in something virtually incomprehensible.

There’s an almost naïve optimism at times, and a filter of innocence as the narrator describes society collapsing – you have to hope that what comes next for her won’t be as chilling as it should be, given everything that the play’s told you so far.

Sometimes the Dangerous Visions short plays feel like they’re part of a larger story; sometimes – as here – they’re as complete as you want them to be.

Verdict: A hauntingly different perspective on the end of the world. 8/10

Paul Simpson

The next Dangerous Vision is Produce at 1415 on May 23rd.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: