Friday, 14 June 2013

Some Other Mother

MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling
3 stars
Take a child away from home for long enough and put them in an insecure 
situation, and chances are they'll create their own world just to 
protect themselves with the power of their imaginations alone. So it is 
with Star, the ten year old north African asylum seeker who lives with 
her mother in a damp and run-down Glasgow high-rise. With the constant 
threat of deportation coming via a knock on the door at dawn, Star 
finds comfort in mythical tales from home and Dog Man, a Calvin and 
Hobbes style imaginary friend with a nice line in sweary words that 
help keep the nightmares away.

AJ Taudevin's play is produced in association with the Scottish Refugee 
Council and the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, where it plays for two nights 
this weekend to open Scottish Refugee Week. It may initially look like 
a piece of up to the minute kitchen-sink social realism, with 
neighbours hanging out on the balconies of Clare Halleran's set and 
social workers at the door, but Catrin Evans' production soon takes 
things into stranger waters. Not all of this works, it must be said, 
and at times during the play's seventy-five minutes things become very 
confusing indeed.

Shvorne Marks as Star nevertheless captures how a child's displacement 
can transform wide-eyed wonder to a fear so great that she won't allow 
herself to unpack her suitcase in case she's forced to leave. There's 
fine support too from Joy Elias-Rilwan as Mama, Billy Mack and Pauline 
Knowles in a play which, despite its self-conscious and largely 
unnecessary oddness, highlights the continuing shame of an inhumane 
system.

The Herald, June 14th 2013

ends

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