Powerful real-life drama
This article is from 2007.
Set in a life size cargo crate, The Container allows the audience to sit in on the fraught interaction between five refugees attempting to make their way illegally to Britain. Certain critics have lampooned some of the site specific shows on offer at the Fringe in recent years and some of these may take similar offence at having to perch upon a plastic crate in the dark for over an hour. But Clare Bayley’s superb script is far too skilfully crafted to be simply dependent on its location for effect, avoiding a collapse into the patronising sentimentality seen in too many accounts of the plight of refugees. The cast’s performances are amplified by their surroundings but not powered by them, presenting not dot to dot portraits of the Third World but human beings, with all the pain, kindness and evil that this entails. Such moral agony is no more starkly shown than when one passenger refuses to pay money, which he has put aside for his children, to stop another girl being raped. The Container is site specific theatre at its best and burns with an urgency that few other shows will be able to match.
E4 UdderBELLY’s Pasture, 0870 745 3083, until 26 Aug (not 13), times vary, £10.00.