Ontroerend Goed’s World Without Us, as the title suggests, imagines a world in which humans have vanished. Planes continue to circulate on autopilot until they run out of fuel. Electricity supplies are gradually exhausted so that the city is plunged into darkness. Nature takes over.
In detail, the single performer takes us through a description of the disintegration of the room we are sitting in: from its infestation by cockroaches and rats to the collapse of the roof and the intrusion of daylight.
The show is simple in the extreme: it is an understated and steadily paced monologue performed by a single actor. Much of the show is performed in complete darkness.
There are some poignant moments as the play reflects on the sum of human achievements – incorporating texts written by Albert Einstein and president Jimmy Carter that attempt to do precisely this.
Like all of the Belgian collective Ontroerend Goed’s work, it is meditative, thought-provoking and innovative work, insistent on following its own logic and on reaching through to audiences in unexpected ways.