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