Elegy (4 stars)

This article is from 2011.


Moving story of a flight from persecution

The last time Douglas Rintoul was in Scotland was to direct a revival of David Greig’s Europe at Dundee Rep. There’s something of the flavour of that migratory play in this powerful production for the internationally minded Transport company, as actor Jamie Bradley tells the story of a refugee traversing the no-man’s land of empty train stations, border crossings and bomb-blasted towns, a man wanted neither by his own country nor anyone else’s.

Based on true stories of homophobic persecution in Iraq, Elegy is a compassionate study of a man enduring brutality, fear and exploitation. He is no more guilty of sin than a left-handed man in a right-handed world, yet his repression becomes so extreme he can scarcely articulate his reasons for fleeing even to himself.

Staged simply and strikingly in a white-cube gallery space on a long bed of discarded clothes, like the shadows of so many human lives, the play avoids the tub-thumping obviousness of some human-rights drama in preference for Bradley’s vivid storytelling with its clever interweaving of narrative strands and understated humanity.

Whitespace, 226 0000, until 28 Aug (not 16, 23), 8.30pm, £10 (£7).


  • 4 stars

Imagine we’re sitting in a cafe on the border of a country where I am from but you are not. Sunset, a solitary figure … a secret place. Intoxicating love … aching in exile. When we face the truth and the story begins, the figure’s voice and gestures change, moving seamlessly into the voice of another and nothing is quite…

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