economic and otherwise, asylum seekers, exiles and refugees. These
are the invisible ones, not always on society's margins, but part of
its fabric, essential but unseen.
Štivičić has devised a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, play
which seeks to give a voice to those who are on the move, fuzzy and
faceless behind the translucent screen at the back of the stage. The
set, designed by Hayley
was anonymous and impersonal – glass [operating] table and orange
bones of the play are strong, its structure powerful. But sometimes
it felt as if there were too much flesh on the bones, and the
momentum was lost.
action [choreographed by Darren
Johnston] was often dreamlike, as the seven actors changed the scene
- the transformation of the kitchen table especially effective. The
working title for an early incarnation was “In a Dream Dreamt by
of the migrants' stories were mythic fairy tales: the golden goose,
the magic talking gherkin that leads to the vault. And it's in this
Vault – a sleazy club – that the two worlds, “Fortress Europe”
and the “Others” fatally coincide.
final hot and cold confrontation between Felix – a believably
pathetic Jon Foster – and Lara [Anna Elijasz] was a striking piece
of theatre, although it could usefully be trimmed a little more.
Other memorable moments were the phone call home, and the amusing
contretemps with the notorious US immigration service, both
excellently done by Gracy Goldman. Krystian Godlewski was outstanding
as the carpenter/window-cleaner/storyteller.
is an international company, and the variety of voices added a raw
authenticity, if sometimes at the expense of clarity and fluency.
two-hour loose-knit narrative included many meaningful details and
juxtapositions. Lara seeks to integrate, and to make a home, by
snapping up cast-offs from her employers, Anton by avidly observing
life on the other side of the glass he's cleaning. The bedsit fridge
is filled with gherkins, none of them quite like those back home.
is no resolution, no closure here. Some migrants succeed, others,
like Bridgitta Roy's tragic Sera, are fated to fail. We leave Anton
in a coma, Felix facing a jail sentence. Lara, though, is confident.
“The wind won't blow her away. Her life will have a meaning.”
flawed but important piece, directed by Douglas Rintoul, and
co-produced with the New Wolsey Theatre, sets off from Ipswich for a
national tour, including a trip over to Luxembourg.