Suffragette Theatre Company delivers an intense, compelling and thought-provoking night of theatre in their production of ‘Terrorism’. Consisting of six scenes which initially seem unrelated but are shown to weave together as the play unfolds, the play is fast-paced and engaging, and while some aspects of the story are difficult to follow, the strength of the acting and tension between comedy and violence keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
Performed in the Debating Chamber, directors Aaron Rozanski and Sophie Cullis utilise the space intriguingly and effectively. The back of the stage resembles a student house, cluttered with bottles and household items, everything from a television to a kitchen sink. This detritus, along with the air sirens and telephone ringtones playing over the speakers, creates a tense atmosphere even before the play has begun.
Creative use of set and props kept the audience engaged
Consisting of six scenes which initially seem unrelated but are shown to weave together as the play unfolds, the play’s pacing is kept up throughout, with the various locations from
The versatility of the cast is impressive, as they masterfully multi-role vastly different, incredibly heightened and physical characters. The quick changes of tone within scenes are well executed and give the play an unsettling quality, particularly in the intimate scene between the sobbing yet snappy wife played by Eleanor Storey and her illicit lover played by Jack De Deney. Both actors move between anger, lust and vulnerability, playing at violence and cruelty in an effort to escape their reality and gain a sense of control.
As the directors’ note states, the play ‘explores the everyday atrocities we commit’, and this is shown in the successful manipulation of scale in the play; everyday events take on national significance, and suicide cannot evoke nearly as much pity or anger as an argument over mineral water. Shocking events are communicated to the audience in a down to earth way, making many of the characters seem almost inhuman in their cold pragmatism and lack of empathy. Balanced with the sense of violence running through the play is a surprising amount of comedy, which, while unsettling in the context, is brought out extremely well in the melodramatic acting style. Keir Mulcahey’s depiction of the shrill neurotic office boss and Hatty
Balanced with the sense of violence running through the play is a surprising amount of comedy
While the intensity of the acting generally works, the darker moments are sometimes overplayed, with the delivery becoming overly shouty. However, the volatility of the characters is well brought out, and the feeling of uncertainty created by the actors’ ability to quickly shift between emotions maintains tension throughout the play. The final scene delivers a beautiful moment of genuine pathos, with the audience feeling Tom Murray’s character’s utter powerlessness and despair and he listens to his wife’s answering machine play again and again while sobbing on the ground with the awareness he has killed her. A shocking combination of humour, nihilism and bitter cutting truths, ‘Terrorism’ is not the play you expect it to be and definitely worth a watch.