Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Motherland - Library Theatre, Manchester

Writer/Director: Steve Gilroy
Reviewer: Rebekah Maine

Motherland is probably one of the most emotive and truthful pieces I have seen in a long time. Set in the modern day North East it takes the form of verbatim theatre, approaching the issue of modern conflicts. It doesn’t support or appose any political theme but instead supports the families involved. The four female strong cast delve into life in the forces, both first hand and through the lives of their loved ones.

The set was very simple with a small amount of props. This worked brilliantly as it ensured that the importance remained on the characters and their stories. Props were powerfully used and enabled the audience to use their imagination. Costume was also kept to a minimum, with simple accessories/garments showing a change in character.

One of the main contributions to this play was the characterisation of the actors involved. It was apparent that the four actresses’ had submerged themselves in the text, and too with the women that they had interviewed and gained rapport with. The actors easily slipped from one role to another, obtaining new mannerisms and voices.

It could be said that we are desensitised as to what is happening around the world. Through the help of theatre such as this, we are becoming more aware of the daily strife that some of Britain must face.

Writer and director Steve Gilroy was quoted as saying that he wanted to ‘maybe make a contribution’ and that he certainly did. Gilroy and the cast should be congratulated at creating something powerful, moving and for bringing to light real life issues that need to be addressed.

This is something for all ages that cannot be missed, but bring a tissue!

Runs until Sat 10th Oct
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