The Economist

Any piece of theatre that deals with tragic recent history is likely to divide audiences, and this challenging play that gives a version of the events that led to the massacre by Anders Breivik in Norway is hardly different. Australian troupe MKA take to task the principle that Breivik was a ‘psycho’ or a ‘lone wolf,’ instead suggesting he was part of a wider political tapestry, in the recesses of the political right that for too long has gone unaddressed. It produces kind of uncompromising theatre that makes the Fringe so special.

The young cast here create a sizzling, disquieting atmosphere throughout; as we entered, they sing songs of an idyllic Norway’s, but soon we’ll watch scenes of searing violence as Breivik, here fictionalised as Andrew Berwick, proclaims “something is going to happen”. Zoey Dawson plays Berwick with a dynamic intensity, shunned from society and forced into an ultimately devastating isolation. The talented ensemble of six use a variety of theatrical innovations to produce an vibrant and somewhat refreshing show, with a concoction of physical theatre, live music, and an array of characters that stretch from prostitutes and drug dealers to Berwick’s vision of a nationalistic Norse god Odin.

But despite the fact that playwright Tobias Manderson-Galvin and director Van Badham have created a blazingly, almost unforgivingly political play, there’s enough ambiguity found in the central character that the play poses difficult questions. Berwick here may believe he is part of a wider political movement, but this is an adult who hasn’t grown up, who plays violent video games, is sexually diffident, and unquestionably is a loner. The terror may not be simply that there are people who subscribe to the extreme far-right ideology that Breivik believed, but that those who do may be so far removed from society that we don’t care that they’re there.

Since you’re here…

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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.
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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.
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Acting For Others
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The Blurb

The first play written in response to the Anders Breivik massacre on Utøya Island. From Australia's controversial and acclaimed theatrical wild children MKA. 'Brilliant' (Age). 'Extraordinary' (Herald Sun). 'Disarmingly imaginative ... superbly acted' (Australian). 'Mindf*ck' (AussieTheatre.com). www.mka.org.au.

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