‘I just think it’s, you know, important to look at the good things that are happening as well.’
In a cramped, crumbling office, four volunteers spend a few hours every Tuesday night on the phone telling strangers that everything is going to be okay.
As the outside world disintegrates, they teeter on the edge of their own personal catastrophes. Their hopes and fears become entangled as they try, desperately, to connect with the callers and with each other.
Sam Steiner’s You Stupid Darkness! is an urgent play about the struggle for optimism and community amid the chaos of a world falling apart. It was first seen at Theatre Royal Plymouth in February 2019, in a co-production between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
‘A work of extraordinary observation and overflowing empathy… a brilliantly realised, unflinchingly truthful mid-apocalyptic comedy’
— The Stage
‘Sam Steiner makes us beam as the world burns… his hilariously bleak show about helpline volunteers has a charming cynicism and compassion’
‘A funny and compassionate commentary on fear and the indomitable human spirit’
— British Theatre Guide
‘A play to laugh along to as well as silently weep with… Steiner’s play is timeless – it transcends any specific period and paints a picture of a potential apocalypse that seems inevitable in the current political climate’
‘Bleakly funny, it wounds even as it makes you smile… it is delicate, crafted work. Necessary too’