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Be Silent or Be Killed


Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
3 stars
A banker from Macduff makes for an unlikely action hero, yet when Roger 
Hunt got caught up in a terrorist raid on his Mumbai hotel in 2008, 
that's exactly what he became. Not an action hero in the conventional 
sense, but, as he endured forty hours alone with only his thoughts and 
a series of text messages to keep him going, his sense of 
self-preservation became an inspiration.

Writers Euan Martin and Dave Smith and director Ian Grieve have taken 
Hunt's story of human bravery and turned it into a tense hour-long 
thriller based on Hunt's book of the same name written with Kenny Kemp. 
It opens with Roger, as played by James Mackenzie, about to give a 
presentation on his experiences. Within seconds, however, Roger is back 
in his hotel room where he takes refuge, texting his wife Irene and 
assorted lifelines for help while he hides out.

Much of the latter is done via John McGeoch's set of fast-track video 
images projected onto the stage set's back wall, with Mackenzie silent 
much of the time. Only when Roger's life flashes back to his first 
meeting with Irene or to the ghost of his dead brother does he say more 
than a few words.

With it's flashy visuals pulsed by Dave Martin's burbling electronic 
sound design, Grieve's production for the Forres-based Right lines 
Productions in association with Eden Court, Inverness,  resembles the 
sort of urgent TV dramas that sprang up on the back of 24. With Helen 
Mackay and Ewan Donald playing all other parts, this is an ambitiously 
realised and refreshingly unliterary adaptation of an all too real life 
and death story.

The Herald, May 10th 2013

ends   

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