Passionate insight into refugees’ lives
This article is from 2007.
The present conflict in Iraq may dominate both news and Fringe agendas but, lest we forget, away from the cameras and newspaper columns, hundreds of conflicts continue to rage on all four corners of the globe. Alongside death, it is human dispersion that most marks these many unfolding tragedies and Conflict Zone Theatre, a multi-national company comprised of actors from strife-stricken areas from Lebanon to Brazil, aims to illustrate the plight of the many who are forced to leave their countries at the barrel of a gun.
Set in an upmarket restaurant where the immigrant staff exchange stories while shutting up shop, Closing Time explores the personal and familial conflicts refugees and emigrants face long after they have escaped from the torment of their homelands. Its promising premise however is somewhat undermined by its script, a collaboration led by the Israeli playwright Joshua Sabol, that too often careers off course, lapsing into a sentimentality that hinders the power of its underlying message. The cast, skilfully directed by Michael Ronen, clearly displays a harnessed passion for the play, but, unfortunately, this fails to paper over the more clunking aspects of its writing. (Miles Johnson)
Assembly Universal Arts, 623 3030, until 27 Aug, 2.50pm, £11.50–13.50