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Posts Tagged ‘Shellissimo’

David Greig’s play explores the psychology of mass killings, and the case of Norway’s Anders Breivik in particular. Set in a village hall where a community choir are rehearsing, it moves from monologue to song to interview, touching the surface of the issues but exploring none in any depth. As much as I admire the intention and the ambition, it didn’t sit comfortably with me.

Claire is the choir leader, who ‘interviews’ ‘the boy’ and others who knew him or were associated with him. The same actor plays all of these. We start with a piece from the choir, who return to sing more and some of whom are involved in the story. It’s at times moving, occasionally seems exploitative, intrusive or voyeuristic (which given it’s a play is probably a compliment) and sometimes puzzling. For me, it didn’t provide enough insight to justify it.

Neve McIntosh plays Claire movingly and Rudi Dharmalingam plays ‘the boy’ and others with great conviction. The choir changes regularly and we had office choirs Shellissimo (guess where they work!) and The Lip Smackers (don’t!) who after a nervous start got into their stride.

I am a big fan of Greig and so wanted to admire this more than I did. It seems to me that the subject either requires a lot more depth or should be left alone.

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