The End of the World

The End of the World is a theatre-concert which juxtaposes global apocalypse scenarios with personal stories about mortality and disability. Using a mixture of music, narration and visual storytelling we contemplate the various ways the human race could meet its end, explore the cognitive biases surrounding our conception of death and the future, and ask the question: can we learn how to live better by learning how to die?

The End of the World was conceived in London and Berlin over five weeks across 2018. We undertook a further three weeks of workshops and documentation with musicians in Perth, Australia, in January and February 2019. Further development and production is planned for 2021.

In addition to the live show we will present our research alongside conversations with relevant scientists and experts in an upcoming podcast series.

This project has been generously supported by Arts Council England and the West Australian Department of Culture and the Arts.

Photos by Arlo Dean Cook and Emma Sulley


Bringing light to the experience of living and dying with Alzheimer’s, STYX is a theatre-concert telling the true story of a grandmother and grandson piecing together the memories that connect them across time. Weaving together riotous songs, intimate storytelling and a journey through the neuroscience of memory, the show reveals the extraordinary power music has to reignitefading memories.

STYX was premiered at the Fringe World festival in Perth in January 2019, where it won a Fringe Weekly Award. STYX was nominated for a Total Theatre Award in the Emerging Company category at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2019, and transferred to London for runs at The Playground Theatre and Streatham Space Project.

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STYX has been generously supported by the West Australian DLGSC

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Film by Arlo Dean Cook
Photos by Wade Ranson, Ilme Vysniauskaite and Emma Sulley

About Us

Second Body was started in 2019 by Max Barton and Jethro Cooke, and was born out of a mutual interest in combining live music, theatre and storytelling. 

Max is a director, playwright and musician based in London. He trained on the Theatre Directing MfA at Birkbeck. Jethro is a composer, sound designer and theatre maker based in Berlin. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Max and Jethro previously collaborated several times as part of the company PIGDOG (2015-17), including new works BOAT (2016), BLAME (2016-17) and the world premiere of Philip Ridley’s epic play Karagula (DEM/Soho Theatre), which was nominated for 8 Off-West End awards, including best director and best production, winning 2.

Photo by Ilme Vysniauskaite

The Listening Room

Written by Harriet Madeley and produced in collaboration with Crowded Room, The Listening Room is a stirring piece of verbatim theatre featuring the true stories of people whose lives were transformed by violent crime. Based on a series of interviews with five victims and perpetrators taking part in a restorative justice programme, the piece is a testament to the power of conversation, empathy and forgiveness in the aftermath of criminal acts.

The Listening Room played at the Old Red Lion in February 2017, at Theatre Royal Straford East in September 2017, and toured UK prisons in December 2017. The piece was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2019, and a further tour of UK theatres and prisons will take place in May & June 2019.

This project has been generously supported by Arts Council England and the John Thaw Foundation.

Writted by Harriet Madeley
Directed by Max Barton
Sound design & composition by Jethro Cooke
Produced by Crowded Room

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