Take 5: Plays with a gruesome body count

  • The List
  • 14 August 2008

This article is from 2008

1. Charlie Victor Romeo - Udderbelly's Cowbarn

Topping the morbidity league with plane upon planeful of passengers heading to a nasty end, Charlie Victor Romeo takes transcripts from black box recorders and re-enacts those scary final minutes of sky-high tension. Not every passenger dies, but most of them do – 798 to be exact.

Five plays with a gruesome body count: Charlie Victor Romeo

2. Terminus - Traverse

There's the woman who gets her eyes gouged, the one whose throat is cut on a one-night stand, the expectant mother who throws herself under a bus, the man who swings from his own guts and the woman who has sex with a demon as she falls to her death. But don't let that put you off.

Five plays with a gruesome body count: Terminus

3. Deep Cut - Traverse

The army called it suicide, the parents have other ideas. Trainee soldiers Sean Benton, James Collinson, Geoff Gray and Cheryl James all died of bullet wounds at the Deepcut barracks between 1995 and 2002. Deep Cut asks the uncomfortable questions.

Five plays with a gruesome body count: Deep Cut

4. Clockheart Boy - C Chambers Street

Morose children only at Dumbshow's Pinocchio-style fable in which a little girl is missing, presumed dead. Not only that but her mechanical replacement comes to an unhappy end and (look away now) even the Clockheart Boy himself gets it in the cogs.

Five plays with a gruesome body count: Clockheart Boy

5. Nocturne - Traverse

He seems the genial sort, this former pianist who is trying his hand at novel writing in between working shifts in a New York bookshop. Bit of a loner, bit screwed up, but charming in his way. There's just one thing. Fifteen years ago he killed his sister.

Five plays with a gruesome body count: Nocturne

Deep Cut

  • 4 stars

Powerful drama focusing on the quest for justice of Des and Doreen James, whose daughter Cheryl died at Deepcut barracks.'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

Clockheart Boy

  • 3 stars

A macabre fairytale told through physical theatre from Dumbshow, the company who last year performed 'To the End of the World'. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.

Charlie Victor Romeo

  • 3 stars

Created entirely from the black box transcripts of six airline emergencies, this theatrical documentary from New York's Collective: Unconscious is compelling stuff, though there's a niggling doubt throughout that there's much to the impact of this show other than audience titilation. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.


  • 4 stars

O'Rowe's rhyming prose, delivered with consummate control, tells a Dublin set metaphysical tale of murder, suicide and accidental death - not to mention angels and demons - in a manner less distressing than it sounds. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'.


  • 4 stars

New work from the writer of 2006's multi-award winning 'Finer Noble Gases'. Detailed and possessing a striking pathos, this haunting exploration of sororicide and urban alienation derives immense power from Adam Rapp's performance. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'