Bash – Mill Theatre – Review
27th Aug – 1st Sep 2018
Bash is a collection of three short pieces written by Neil La Bute, who is an American film director and writer known for such works as In The Company of Men (1997) and Your Friends & Neighbors (1998). He is also a prolific playwright and has written over 20 plays. This new production is by ‘Out of Time’ theatre company.
The first short is Iphigenia in Orem which is a monologue where a young man (Stephen Gorman) tells a secret he has never told anyone before. It is a tale about the death of his first born child, Emma, and is quite tragic for many reasons.
The next is A Gaggle of Saints which is a two hander, where John (Conor Hanley) and Sue (Ciara Andrea Murphy) tell the tale of their trip to New York for a party. They have been together for six years and are talking about getting engaged. They also talk about the first time they met, where John first showed flashes of violence.
Medea Redux is the story of a woman (Deirdre Jones) who had a relationship with her teacher in high schoool when she was 14 years old and the ramifications of that relationship in later life. It is another story of a damaged soul and the violence welling up inside.
Whatever you can say about La Bute’s work, he is definitely not afraid of difficult topics. The stories focus on the violence that normal or every day people are capable of under the right circumstances. They are troubling tales that expose some dark secrets to the viewers. As is evident from the names of two of the three plays, the works are heavily influenced by Greek myths and Euripides in particular. There is a feeling that these characters had to carry out these acts, like they were controlled by a higher power.
This is actually the second time Out of Time have produced Bash, as it was staged in the Players Theatre last year. This production is in the Studio space in the Mill Theatre, so will be playing to small audiences. Despite this fact, it is a lively production and the acting is impressive throughout. The three shorts are not easy viewing with themes of homophobia, misogyny and violence, but it makes the viewer query what the average person is truly capable of.
Duration – Approx 2 hours including interval