Speak No Evil is a performance with good intentions. Coming from the perspective that society can be oppressive and tell free individuals how and what to think in a democracy. The three performers in FULLfuse Theatre gel together with ease and effortlessly convey the overriding theme through narration, character and at times physical theatre and movement.
The story of Speak No Evil is told from the perspective of an unnamed girl living in the dictatorship of Belarus. She emigrates to the UK with her Mother and Father and it is her experience that we witness. This part is brilliantly played by Serena Gosling, who invites empathy through her honest interpretation of the emotions of a young migrant learning about democracy and freedom of speech. We are taken back to her childhood and her relationship with her Father played by Chris Blake-Turner, who takes on a variety of roles including narrator along with Alex Prescot; here we learn of the struggles of the people of Belarus and how they come to terms with the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko.
The performance is let down by the misuse of projected text and images on the backdrop of the theatre space. The performers bodies conceal the projections making them impossible to read and therefore a distraction. At times the tension is heightened with physical theatre, where the emotion is conveyed through dance and movement. The female protagonist finds herself on the stage floor while expressing this physicality. This staging is misguided due to the fact that unless you are sitting front row, you are not a witness to the performance. Despite the talents of the performers, the script is narration heavy and the presentation at times feels laboured and far too didactic. Nevertheless the themes of Speak No Evil are well presented and the horrors that young unnamed girl encountered in Belarus are delivered with intensity and vigour.