Posts Tagged ‘Temporary Theatre’

Who says theatre doesn’t confront the issues of the day? For the second evening running, it is – this time a verbatim piece about the radicalisation of young people. I feel privileged to live in a country where I can see such things.

Gillian Slovo interviewed people affected by or involved in this issue, most notably school children in Tower Hamlets and mothers in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, much in the news since the recent Paris and Brussels incidents. Add to this political & religious leaders, military & police figures and others in the community and you have a lot of perspectives to present in ninety minutes. What comes out is a pretty objective look at the issue. I found the testimony of the school children particularly revelatory and the Belgian mothers deeply moving. It certainly helps you understand how we’ve got to where we have, but sadly not to see any solutions.

Director Nicholas Kent, the master of such work, provides a simple staging with just a few chairs in front of a highly effective video wall by Duncan McClean. A cast of thirteen convey the words and feelings of some eighteen people. I found it more cerebral than the more emotional Boy the evening before, partly because of the style of this type of theatre and partly because of the complexity of the issues, but the mothers still got to me in the end.

Nicholas Kent’s track record in using theatre to show us what others don’t and can’t is second to none and it’s great to have him back and great that the National has given him a high profile stage to put such work on. Long may it continue.


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