IT promises to be the ultimate touring theatre show - held in the local pub.

The Last Quiz Night on Earth will be leaving traditional venues behind and heading to a series of intimate venues over the next couple of weeks around Bury, Ramsbottom, Oldham and Irlam.

The audience immediately become immersed in the show - a comedy based around the idea that an asteroid is heading to earth and the world is about to end.

Landlady Kathy and quizmaster Rav prepare for their final hours and unexpected visitors drop in for the ultimate pub quiz.

Ironically, the play should have gone on in Oldham the day that the first lockdown was imposed. Two years later, it’s all systems go.

The comedy play has been written by Alison Carr and is being staged by Box of Tricks.

“The idea of a quiz night kept popping into my head but I’d dismiss it because I was worried it’d been done too often before,” said Alison. “So I kept plugging away and overcomplicating things, until eventually I thought okay, lean into it – a quiz night AND what? A quiz night AND the world is about to end. It all opened up from there and a quiz night became the only way to tell this story.

“It brings so much to explore like togetherness and community, comradery, competitiveness. Throw into the mix an asteroid heading straight for us, and the stakes get higher. It’s the final chance to say the unsaid, heal rifts, get the last word, make peace with regrets or try to do something about them.”

Having spent so long agonising about the play, Alison then saw its run around the UK curtailed by Covid.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring it back” she said.

“Like all the plays that had to close in March 2019, it was very abrupt and it’s felt like unfinished business ever since. Kathy, Rav, Fran and Bobby are characters who have been in my life for so long now, and I’m excited to hang out with them again.

“Plus I’ve written a brand new quiz for the show – so if you saw it before, you can come back and take part all over again!”

One of the key features of Last Quiz is the way the characters will react with the audience.

“That’s quite a departure for me and the way I write,” said Alison.

“My jumping off point was to write something fun. Around the time I got the call from Box of Tricks I’d been researching a lot of serious, dark material for other plays I was writing. It takes its toll. So when Hannah (Tyrrell-Pinder, Director) got in touch my first thoughts were “yes please” and “for my own well-being, it’s got to be fun”.

“Plus I always want to be challenging myself, not trotting out the same-old, same-old. And just like ‘dark’ doesn’t mean humourless or hard-going, ‘fun’ certainly doesn’t equal something fluffy or meaningless. It is the end of the world, after all.”

For audiences wondering if this might be for them, Alison said: “Well, there’s a quiz - a real one. You don’t have to be good at quizzes (I’m not) or, if you are, great - come and show off.

“And when you’re not trying to remember which British city hosted the 1970 Commonwealth Games, there’s a story unfolding around you about family and regrets and last chances.

“I wouldn’t want anyone other than Box of Tricks making The Last Quiz Night On Earth. Their work is never pretentious or intimidating, it’s welcoming and warm and a good night out. What better way to spend the apocalypse?”

The Last Quiz Night on Earth is at the Two Tubs, Bury, on Thursday, March 10; Ramsbottom Cricket Club on March 11 and 12; Bank Top Tavern, Oldham, on March 14 abd 15 and the Station at Irlam from March 22 to 26. Tickets from Bury Met, Oldham Coliseum or The Lowry for the relevant venue