Collateral Damage

The programme for Collateral Damage states that, while the play was written in 1999 in response to contemporary issues, it “has many resonances for us today”. Yet this production fails to resonate.

While an intriguing concept, the play is too short to pull off the comparison with any subtlety

It’s Daniel’s 50th birthday, so he and his wife Leonie are preparing for a dinner party. In the other room, a television blares news coverage of the war in Kosovo. The couple, recently over a rocky period in their marriage, begin to argue, with opinions on the war acting as the epicenter of a much larger ideological conflict between the two. By the end, the war and the relationship are shown to mirror each other, in several ways.

While an intriguing concept, the play is too short to pull off the comparison with any subtlety. Much of the play is simply exposition: talking about their relationship, or talking about the international tensions in the post-Cold War world. Actual conflict doesn’t begin until 15 minutes in, which is a tremendous portion of a 40-minute show. From there, it accelerates too rapidly, flung forward by lines that lack any human quality.

Performances do little to convince the audience that these two characters are anything other than shills for a political point. Neither Chester Parker and Jana Doughty follow the emotional peaks and valleys of their characters, creating a jarring disconnect between action and audience. This makes the rather extreme climax feel unearned, and even inappropriate.

Collateral Damage cannot connect the past and the present. With an argument formed in fumbling lines and unconvincing performances, it becomes hard not to feel that the conversation in the play happened in a different world, one where the US was uncontested as a dominant superpower and ‘Islamic extremism’ had not yet become a buzzword. Dulled by bare structure, basic dialogue and unconvincing performances, the bombs that Collateral Damage attempts to drop are mere duds.

Reviews by Bennett Bonci

Gilded Balloon Teviot

So You Think You're Funny? Grand Final

Assembly Rooms

To Hell in a Handbag

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell

Greenside @ Infirmary Street

War of the Sperms

theSpace on the Mile

Church Blitz

King's Theatre

The Divide - Part 2


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

It is 1999 and war rages in the Balkans. In their comfortable North London home, Daniel and Leonie have invited guests to dinner to celebrate Daniel's 50th birthday. As they prepare for the evening, scenes of fleeing refugees and the bombing of Belgrade fill the TV screen in their kitchen. Political and personal tensions mount, leading to an unexpected and horrifying climax. The themes and issues of this play are as relevant today as when it was written. First performed in the Tricycle Theatre, London. More info at

Most Popular See More


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets