Christmas cheer takes a twisted turn in a Nightmare Before Christmas-style celebration of the impending apocalypse.
Should you see it?
The ChristmApocalypse is a very visual show, even before it begins. As spectators walk in, a loop of Christmas carols is accompanied by apocalyptic noises and strange projections. The 10-person cast is scattered across the theater, staring at you uncomfortably in full make-up and costumes.
The visual feast continues as the show takes you through the remaining residents of Christmas Town, which has been torn apart by war. The projections set the tone, the actors all speak in rhyme and the costumes manage to be simultaneously gorgeous, zany and terrifying. The make-up is creepy, the music is fitting and the performers make good physical use of the space. I felt very uncomfortable throughout the show, which I think was the intended effect.
Sadly, this twisted beauty doesn’t extend to the story and writing. The ChristmApocalypse finds itself stuck between full-on absurdity and dystopian fiction. Even though this was clearly not my cup of tea, I was able to lose myself in its dark world for most of its 60-minute run – until it ended on an environmental moral lesson that felt completely out of the blue. It was almost like someone realized that they had run out of time with no ending in sight. It tried to add meaning to the previously absurd proceedings, which is something that wasn’t really needed.
There is some interesting movement and thematic reworkings of well-known Christmas carols, but sequences last too long and quickly become self-indulgent. The ChristmApocalypse has an interesting theme and a visually appealing world, but it could definitely use more trimming and focus.
What did you think of The ChristmApocalypse? Were you drawn in by its dark Yuletide cheer? Join the discussion in the comments below!