The Spoils (2 stars)

Secretarial interrogation

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This article is from 2007.

Youtube videos of the final minutes of deposed former dictators give us all pause to consider the human rights implications and responsibilities of a conquering power. Formal shirts and ties may have replaced orange jump suits in Shady Dolls new production, but the role of the victor in any conflict is put under scrutiny in director Steven Dykes’ skewed vision of a military interrogation. A uniformed interpreter (Clark Devlin) attempts to pry information from four seemingly lowly secretaries, previously employed by the conquered regime. His unusual technique involves subjecting the prisoners to a detailed analysis of music familiar to them, in an attempt to achieve empathy and eventually break their will. The casting of Devlin as the slightly effeminate interrogator plays well against the forcefulness of the four female secretaries. However the mixture of music and interrogation begins to unravel as the action becomes confused, before the tables are somewhat crudely turned on the interpreter. With competent performances throughout, this is a brave effort at an alternative view of victory, but lacks the clarity to force its inferences home.

C Chambers St, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug (not 13), 3.45pm, £8.50-£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

This article is from 2007.

The Spoils

  • 2 stars

In the aftermath of a lost war, even the lowliest secretaries must be interrogated. With competent performances throughout, this is a brave effort at an alternative view of victory, but lacks the clarity to force its inferences home. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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