Allegations

The black man and the white man find themselves in a children's playground, telling each other their tragic stories. What results is an emotional landscape of a colonialism-torn Africa (country not specific), and if you can see through the torture, racism and death a serious message about facing the past emerges. Accompanied by African/contemporary percussion, the two actors pull of a very ambitious cast of characters and two epic tales of woe. The opening scene in which white man is held to siege by black revolutionaries in his own house is particularly effective and sets the tone of the whole play.The radio-style writing was dealt with well by the two actors, who despite not spending much stage time together managed to build up a relationship through the percussion playing offstage and their brief duologues. One scene in which the black man is burnt by a marijuana butt was particularly arresting for its fast-paced switching between characters; perhaps the turn towards the melodramatic in order to distinguish from the similar tale of the white man was necessary.Ignorance of the stage theatre tradition lets down the writer, who nevertheless has plenty to say; I overheard several audience members discussing the issues raised in the show on the way out and this is definitely a sign that it’s on the right track. Strong acting and strong ideas do not compensate for inexperienced writing however, the constant stream of violence and torture means that no dramatic shape emerges and the audience is often restless.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

A peasant farmer's home is burnt down during a politically-motivated attack; a commercial farmer suffers a farm invasion. The two meet and have more in common than imagined. A true story of fear, frustration and hope in Zimbabwe today.