Behind Our Skin
- Lorna Irvine
- 29 August 2017
Moving drama considering immigration and womanhood from two perspectives
Blood is a key feature of this skilful, visceral drama: the blood of loved ones, the blood of new-born babies, and the blood spilled over ideologies.
Two contrasting monologues collide.
Julie (Sophie Bertreau) is a wilful, rebellious young woman working in Disneyland, Paris. When her friend Naysam, a Muslim woman, is accused of theft, Julie becomes embroiled in a brutal fight to clear her name, which culminates in riots on a hot summer night.
Camille (Anne Bertreau) is an anxious, shy young French woman trying to settle in London but experiencing problems with her pregnancy.
What follows are two intense portraits, where each choice the women make impacts on their lives. Inspired by the recent attacks in the Bataclan and Nice, the drama is somewhat conventional, but beautifully performed, with unflinching and evocative detail by the very assured Bertreau sisters.
They understand very well how to zoom in on that which binds and divides us in modern society, particularly through the filter of hard-working yet ostracised immigrants.
Camille's story is undoubtedly the most successful of the two, as Julie's emphasis is initially placed on her but given over to Naysam, creating a slight disconnect in who the protagonist is.
Nonetheless, the duo created a pacy and visceral play, simply but movingly told. The tensions which spill over on Bastille Day are the tensions faced by many on a day-to-day basis, especially with the recent headway made by right-wing politician Marie Le Pen in France. Behind Our Skin is a powerful and passionate look at multi-cultural society.
C Royale, run ended.