“You can’t beat nature. You can’t hold back the tide.”
Earthquakes in London by Mike Bartlett is a play about excess. It is a play about the past, the present and the future, taking us from 1968 through the 2010s to 2525 with burlesque dancing, environmental activism and the end of the world.
The play follows the three daughters of a radical Cambridge professor, who predicts that in the 21st century, our misuse of the planet’s resources will lead to the apocalypse. Whilst this apocalypse never materialises, each of his three daughters are in their own dire situation with Sarah locked in a loveless marriage; Jasmine being blackmailed by an environmental activist who wants to help his family in Eritrea and Freya, who greatly fears motherhood.
With themes of depression, parenthood, neglect and the environment, Earthquakes in London is a microcosm of what it is like to navigate the perils of contemporary society.