The Interference (4 stars)

Compelling piece on the subject of campus rape

The Interference

Malibu's Pepperdine University is a Christian establishment with a strong arts faculty and established Scottish exchange links. As their last outing on the Fringe – 2012's Peter Arnott-written Why Do You Stand There in the Rain?, about the mistreatment of American veterans in the 1930s – demonstrated, the combination breeds high-quality, socially responsive work with a sense of youthful verve. This year's The Interference, a new piece by Lynda Radley on the subject of campus rape, continues this tradition in engrossing style.

With 12 performers and a live AV technician onstage, the group emerges as a chorus of talking heads buried in their mobile phones, snippets of cut-up dialogue painting a gossipy picture of 'young sluts trying to ruin a career'. Karen went to a party and got drunk (or was she drugged?), and while she was passed out star quarterback Smith had sex with her. With some sterling ensemble work from the group, as directed by Cathy Thomas-Grant, the situation is interrogated.

We meet the tough female cop who believes it just 'sounds like really bad sex … a lot of these guys pick up things from online porn', to the sympathetic university council who are strong-armed out of the way by indignant donors and wily lawyers. The rapist is never seen; instead, the villain of this perceptive and compelling piece is a social system rotten with male privilege and lazy but ingrained rape myth.

C, until 16 Aug, 3.45pm, £9.50--£11.50 (£5.50--£8.50).

The Interference

  • 4 stars

Pepperdine University (USA) Allegations. Drunk? He said. She said. Truth. In a culture of amplified voices and distorted information where student athletes become celebrities, everyone has incentive to bury truth. When a survivor speaks up, can her truth rise above the noise? With soundscape by Michael John McCarthy…


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