The Last Minutes Before Mars

Existential dread permeates our lives like the searing mist of a bubonic fart. We look longingly into the night sky at that small red dot and foolishly dream of beginning again, as if our daily struggles on Earth will be more easily resolved at -65° and with the help of high doses of cosmic radiation. The Last Minutes Before Mars invites you into the world of a group of young people — the last generation, perhaps — to meet their family, their friends and spend time in the precious spaces of their lives. This sets the scene for your encounter with the other strangers in the room, in a collective experience — hand in hand, arm in arm, face-to-face — exploring the fact that, no matter what happens to us, we live our different lives all on the same journey, toward the same destination; now, hundreds of thousands of years ago, and beyond, in a future too terrifyingly lovely to imagine.

This moment is gone, we’ve moved on to the next moment. Agree or disagree? The next moment has also moved on. Agree or disagree? Time does not exist: Agree or disagree? Neither does space. Agree or disagree? Everything is happening at once. Agree or disagree? This is perfect. Agree or disagree? One day we will not exist. Agree or disagree? Human extinction would not be so bad. Agree or disagree? When I was a teenager I had my own bedroom. Agree or disagree? 

The Last Minutes Before Mars combines 360° video and live performance, features a group of young people, and asks the deep question: what are the necessary and sufficient conditions to produce a beautiful perfectly ordinary day. 

“Right at the opening, the youngsters leave no doubt who will be ‘the boss’ here in the future.”

Sven Westernströer, WAZ (2020)

“A dazzling encounter between virtuality and matter, which Mammalian Diving Reflex chooses as a device to tell the story of today’s turbulent adolescence: the unfathomable distance between one’s private, domestic life and the unexpected, or perhaps even sought-after intimacy, with others.”

Nadia Brigandì and Leonardo Ravioli, ZK Blog (2023)

Presentation History

Triennale Milano Teatro & ZONA K; Milan, Italy
Triennale Milano Teatro & ZONA K; Milan, Italy
Schauspielhaus Bochum; Bochum, Germany
Schauspielhaus Bochum; Bochum, Germany
Schauspielhaus Bochum; Bochum, Germany
Schauspielhaus Bochum; Bochum, Germany
Schauspielhaus Bochum; Bochum, Germany

Original Credits

The Original Productions of The Last Minutes Before Mars at Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2020 and Triennale Milano Teatro in 2023 were:

Conceived & Directed by Darren O’Donnell
Co-Directed by Chiara Prodi & Jana Eiting
Produced by Alice Fleming, Virginia Antonipillai & Ryan Lewis
Co-Devised by Alice Fleming, Andrada Ciccotto, Chiara Prodi, Christopher Rocholl, Craig McCorquodale, Darren O’Donnell, Eeske Hahn, Elisa Fasiello, Emma Rose, Fi Nicholson, Fjoralba Qerimaj, Genny De Leon, Gianluca Benvenuti, Isola Music, Jana Eiting, Jerwin Mostiero, Joanna Gawor, Kiera O’Brien, Konstantin Bock, Lynn Dokoohaki, Manuel Ahnemueller, Mervin Kyle Fajardo, Morena Marra, Nana Adutwum Pascal Ulrich, Roberto Do Carmo, Sara Ben Hamouda, Sara Guttadauro, Sonja Vallot, Sorcha Gibson, Thule Van Den Dam, Tina Fance, Virginia Antonipillai & William Drew

The Last Minutes Before Mars was originally co-commissioned and co-produced by Triennale Milano Teatro and ZONA K, and premiered at Schauspielhaus Bochum, with support from the Canada Council of the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council, development support from the Australian Council for the Arts and the Goethe Institut Toronto. With thanks to Stephen O’Connell & Leticia Gozzini from Itas Giulio Natta.