Holy Land

Tim runs the website Holy Land. He’s made it his business to display suffering and violence, for people to do what they want with it. The play unfolds as a striking story of three people confronted with senseless evil.

Holy Land is a passionate and compelling exploration of human nature in the information age.

Matthew Gouldesbrough’s script is punchy, thought-out and clever. He is most effective when exploring this new form of violence. He cleverly points out reflections between ordinary people and the dark web: The dark web might be used by our neighbours, we derive a similar sort of pleasure from innocent ‘you’ve been framed’ videos, and there is always an imprint of each and every one of us on the Internet, an imprint that never fully leaves. The scenes that follow from this premise are painful and compulsive, interspersed by fittingly jarring use of mixed media.

The story also feels as though it belongs to the information generation – its characters are very human. It observes us while making careful commentary on our impulses. This is also what makes Holy Land so unsettling.

Holy Land also (unsurprisingly) concerns itself with religion. While some of the most passionate moments in the play come from this theme (often from the brilliant Rick Romero), the ideas about religion generally cohere less. Gouldesbrough delivers a lot of different messages about faith, but these are sometimes muddled.

Acting-wise there is a great deal of talent on display from the three leads. Each actor was delivered their various different characters with energy and attention to detail. Kate’s (Hannah Morrison) conversations with her boyfriend (where she played both parts) were exceptional. I could feel the thought that went into her performance.

Holy Land is only told between monologues. It does achieve a lot with this, as we can be shown the innermost thoughts of a character. I did, however, find myself longing for a scene the actors could share together. Telling the play only through monologues meant the relationships and links between the different sectiosn are also not as clear as they could be.

However, the passion in the writing and acting were more than enough to carry Holy Land to a satisfying conclusion. The show is a powerful story about the perversity of the information age and the perversity of attempts to set the world to rights.

Reviews by George Lea

theSpace on the Mile

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

★★★
C venues – C aquila

Numbers

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Best Girl

★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Shaving the Dead

★★★★
C venues – C aquila

Holy Land

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Chalk (A Silent Comedy)

★★★★

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

Performances

Location

The Blurb

'You ever do anything again, And I’ll follow you to the end of the world. Like a ghost. Like your dead ancestors… World’s on fire.' Jon has lost his daughter. Tim can't leave his office. Kate is just trying to get through the day. Three stories of escapism and revolt interweave in this vivid new work. Fusing multimedia and spoken word, Holy Land is an excavation of the dark side of the internet and human nature. Who’s accountable for what happens? How much control do we have? And how much can we take?

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets