In a London of the near future, the population is experiencing the same apocalyptic nightmare of "monsters and explosions."
A Tory Prime Minister is contemplating a military invasion of Iran.
There are riots on the streets and a palpable sense of alienation and social dissonance.
Thus Mike Bartlett's new play 13 could not be accused of failing to explore contemporary social and political themes.
Into this dystopia enters John, returning from an unexplained absence, perhaps in the wilderness, with a message of belief that things could be better.
From an unpromising start, perched precariously on an upturned plastic bucket, his message gathers impetus via social media.
So successful is his mission that a general strike threatens which could derail agovernment policy and prevent the invasion of Iran.
A series of personalised subplots are interwoven into the narrative.
The young sex worker pursued by her lawyer client wanting more than a transactional relationship, a Prime Minister seemingly isolated, divorced and friendless, haunted by the death of her son and a US diplomat married to what turns out to be a psychotic wife are just a few of these interpersonal narratives.
They're the primary focus of the first act, perhaps to the detriment of the whole.
But the Olivier stage, dominated by a giant black cube, is effectively employed to convey a sense of oppressive powerlessness, social isolation and alienation.
The climax of the second act is the confrontation between the Prime Minister and John, where the issues and debate around invading Iran are invoked.
As in the biblical version, the Messiah is vanquished, this time on the crucifix of social media.
13 promises much but in the end delivers little, despite valiant performances.
The Prime Minister, played by the excellent Geraldine James, is an unconvincing Tory - she comes across more as a female Tony Blair than a Thatcher.
The notion of a socially compassionate Tory Prime Minister is, to this reviewer at least, oxymoronic.
As John, Trystan Gravelle makes an effective soap box orator yet technical merit far outweighs content and this is 13's major flaw.
The substance of debate is at best shallow and the idea that to believe in belief itself would rally 6 million or so twittering iPad users to threaten government is absurd.
More crucially, the discourse surrounding whether or not to invade Iran is facile, reductionist and contrived.
Runs in repertoire until January 2012. Box office: (020) 7452-3000.