They pace the stage, with their suitcases, as if they are waiting for their lives to begin. But the clock is ticking; the time they have is limited. The End of Things remind us that there will be, well, an… end of things. You don’t know when, how or what happens after. The question is, do you have your suitcase packed? Have you filled your life with value or with waste? Laboratory Theatre group Company of Wolves explore the finite time between our beginning and end. Their experimental performance observes and explores the human condition in a creative and quirky debut at Manipulate Festival.

Their costumes are bland and brown but with splashes of colour. The five performers begin to flirt with one another and form relationships, crawling across the stage and over one another. Who knows if they are waiting in arrivals or departures? What follows is a montage of different scenarios representing life and death filled with inspiring choreography and long awkward moments that are both bemusing but hilarious, accompanied by bursts of song that break the silence. They party, sleep and have a ménage a cinq – if you may call it that. But as the lights come up on the audience at one point, it makes us question our own lives. Our own end could arrive now. Are we who we want to be? The fantasy on stage is brought back to reality for a moment, as they tell us knock knock jokes.

Simple, yet complex – just like human life. Company of Wolves have managed to closely analyse existence and create a charming, visual representation.