Broken Dolls (Razbitye Kuklu)
Strong performances in sex trafficking drama let down by unresolved plot lines and poor set
This article is from 2014.
Broken Dolls tells the story of Narcisa, a young girl from Moldova who is sold into sex trafficking and imprisoned in a Turkish brothel. The play explores the brutal psychological abuse inflicted on women in order to desensitise them and trap them in a continuous cycle of fear and exploitation.
The script is clumsy in places but is elevated by strong, well-paced acting from the cast of four. Daniel Deutsch is excellent in his portrayal of Milos the pimp. He presents a calculating, manipulative and revoltingly sleazy character. The tension notably increases when he is present on stage, even when it is just as a voice on the phone, and it is the scenes where he interrogates Narcisa that most effectively communicate the true horror and desperation of her situation.
Some of the scene changes and time shifts are slightly jarring and several plot lines are left unresolved, giving the sense that a longer play has undergone a harsh edit. The set appears to have been cobbled together from what was left in a prop cupboard and a wobbly table and the completely unconvincing fake cigarettes distract from the tense action on the stage.
C-Cubed, until 25 Aug (not 12), 0845 260 1234, 6.30pm, £9.50-£10.50 (£8.50-£9.50)