Whilst trawling the internet in a haze of procrastination, I found treasure in the form of The Apocalypse Gameshow! Their website is intriguing so of course, I wanted to find out more…
We were lucky enough to talk to Aste Amundsen, director of the show:
Please tell us a little bit about the event
The Apocalypse Gameshow is a twisted end-times entertainment that puts audience, and their fears of the future centre stage. Or as we like to say..it’s the only survivalist boot-camp encased in a light-entertainment sugar shell. Through our rigorous induction process audience may graduate from “Plebs” to “Players” and win a chance to spin our Wheel Of Misfortune and pit themselves against any of a number of possible cataclysms. This Is Cabaret called us ”an immersive joyride of heroic cynicism” -while according to Time-Out we are ” witty, timely and hugely enjoyable“.
How did The Apocalypse Gameshow come about and what was your inspiration?
The show was written and conceived by Tom Baker and myself, and has existed in several incarnations since 2007. We first met during the solar eclipse in Cornwall 1999, where I was running the Church of The Apocalypse and Tom was performing with his neo-vaudevillian band Fantasmagoria. The experience resulted in Tom’s cult “hit” “I slept through the end of the world” as well as a long friendship based on black humor, and a shared appreciation for obscure conspiracies and strange literature.
We met up at one point and found that we both had the same idea for a show…nothing for it but make it a reality.
As far as apocalyptic inspiration there always seems to be plenty to draw from. Growing up in Norway during the cold war means imminent, total destruction has been an ever present possibility all my life. Where now schools have fire-drills we had nuclear drills, and every school had a bunker. As a 13 year old in 1988, presented by alarming headlines that we only had 10 years to save the world from climate change, I travelled Murmansk in the USSR intent on “Eco sabotage”. My companions and I encountered a landscape so ravaged by air-pollution that it resembled nothing so much as the post-apocalyptic, nuclear winter we had all grown up fearing. My teens and early twenties I spent a part of the much maligned hordes of “New Age Travellers”, living marginal lives at the sharp end of creeping state fascism (in the form of the Criminal Justice Act 1994)..All the while of course mainlining Bruce Sterling, V for Vendetta, Mad Max and the like. Then of course there was the year 2000, millennial angst, Y2K and so on, and really it just keeps rolling.
I became aware very early on of our shocking inability both as individuals and as a society to respond rationally to any of these very real and serious threats. The reasons for this collective paralysis continues to interest me deeply.
What will the audience take away from this?
A few good gags, some handy tips, hopefully some real relief from a light-hearted airing out of some of our worst fears….and if you played and survived: your very own AG, survivalist Top-Trump, detailing your apocalyptic credentials.
Also you will take away the experience of hanging out on the amazing MS Stubnitz…a venue like no other.
How do you think the world will end and how do you rate your chances of survival?
I suspect our fascination with, and fixation on the Apocalypse is as much about our own cognitive bias as it is a reflection of what is likely to unfold. I am fairly certain that the world will change radically within my lifetime, possibly even in the next few years. But I am unconvinced that it will take the form of a massive, up-in-flames type, sudden apocalypse. At the moment a total collapse of the current economic system seems highly plausible to me. Most likely it will be a slow, painful decline however..starting with something like what the Greeks are currently experiencing and ending up somewhere much, much worse.
As with any end-of-the world scenario I think my fate would be in large part a question of luck…though in collapsonomic terms I am quite the opposite of dystechnic -and I have reasonably extensive, real-world social networks from which I derive a sense of security and possibility.
A good long sleep.
The PABC will be making the trip to the MS Stubnitz, (http://ms.stubnitz.com/) in South East London, to pit our wits against the Wheel of Misfortune on Saturday 6th October. We are really looking forward to it!
Show dates and times are available on their website: http://apocalypsegameshow.com/
and tickets (£15/£12 conc.) can be purchased here: http://apocalypsegameshowstubnitz-rss.eventbrite.co.uk/