Bin Laden: The One Man Show (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Bin Laden: The One Man Show

© Nick Rutter

Political theatre about the notorious man by Knaive Theatre

Knaive Theatre goes out of its way to defy expectations: greeting the audience is not an impression of Bin Laden or someone dressed in Middle Eastern clothes but a white British man offering tea and biscuits while warmly asking after everyone. That’s the great thing about this play: wherever you think it’s going, it quickly goes elsewhere.

What follows is a clever mixture of political theatre and historical insight, told with a cheeky sense of humour that consistently surprises. Half of the genius of the production comes in how it goes about unfolding, so to give more away would only spoil the experience – but Bin Laden is not treated as merely a monster, especially in the closing speech.

The result is a production that will infuriate as many as it impresses. It might make some go out after to research more about the infamous man while others will be compelled to storm out of the theatre, and it might lead to heated debates in a pub after the curtain. It will also achieve something that many productions fail to do: it will make you think.

C Nova, 0845 260 1234, until Aug 26 (not 13), 7.35pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£7.50–£9.50).

Bin Laden: The One Man Show

  • 4 stars

Knaive Theatre. One actor, one monster, one unforgettable act of violence: one headf*ck. The monster we made. We don't believe in monsters, so this is the man. The man that stood up and shook the world. Developed in collaboration with Royal Court young writer Joseph Wilde, this show explores many Bin Ladens: those we…

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