Luis, a man in his forties, decides to visit his family that he has not seen for years. He knows he is going to die soon. He wants to deliver the news himself to his mum, his younger sister, his brother, and his wife whom he has not got to know so far. He wants to see them once more, a family that he left because of his decision to live a different life. In the past years he used to send them just postcards, and they used to send him messages about big family events and babies being born. Now he wants to meet them and talk to them for the last time. Yet it is difficult to talk about things that are most important in someone's life, especially with the next-of-kin who may have become strangers already. His desire for closeness and his attempts for understanding mix with a sense of remoteness, of an unbridgeable difference. »You are living a strange life there in the cities, « mother says in accepting her son's coming up to her, and this phrase represents the motive hanging constantly above them all. This observation points to everyone, not just to the son living in a big city, also to those who stayed in the province. The encounter in the mother's house opens memories. Old family phantoms reappear and mix with an equally undefined present, with confessions about half-realised personal visions and lives. They appear in avalanches of words spinning around repetitions and returns of continual motives, and they usually fade out in stillness. In the silence that embraces them from time to time there is sensitivity, an attempt to understand and a beginning of misunderstanding at the same time. Loneliness is the basic existential experience which they have all to face at this encounter. In the end Louis leaves without telling them the new about his going to die soon.
Just the End of the World is Jean-Luc Lagarce's most often staged play and probably also his most personal piece. His drama work has become very popular recently, not only in