Review: I and the Village, Bread and Roses Theatre
Many of us have invested the last year in various forms of confinement, our impunities limited by lockdown and self-isolation. Coming at this time to writer Darren Donohue’s I and the Village we probably have an abnormally acute empathy with the situation it divulges. At the Direct Provision Centre in the Republic of Ireland where this comedy is set, the prisoners is not solely isolated but effectively forgotten about, sometimes for years. This impressive piece of ensemble toil from the Bread and Roses Theatre Company offers an feeling and difficult story that flaunts the contemporary management of asylum seekers …
A deeply moving ensemble rendition that shapes conspicuous the stern reality of being in an Irish Direct Provision Centre
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Many of us have expended the last year in various forms of confinement, our frees limited by lockdown and self-isolation. Coming at this time to writer Darren Donohue’s I and the Village we probably have an outstandingly acute empathy with the situation it discovers. At the Direct Provision Centre in the Republic of Ireland where this frisk is set, the prisoners are not only isolated but effectively forgotten about, sometimes for years. This impressive piece of ensemble drudgery from the Bread& Roses Theatre Company offers an emotional and challenging floor that exposes the contemporary treatment of asylum seekers in a determine very close to home.
The story begins with Centre Manager, Carl, sensitively played by Mark Rush, lay new light bulbs in a sparse, institutionalised dormitory. The inscrutable and captivating Keicha( Funke Adeleke ), a adventurous African-print scarf round her whisker signalling her origins, suggests to Carl that speaking kindly to the bulb will encourage it to light up. Sure enough she is correct. Sadly, such pithy action is less common towards the residents at the Centre, who were dehumanised from living in overcrowded infinites on an inadequate income and the constant checking. Their lives only become darker as the drama progresses.
We meet three women sharing this experience, evidencing their hopeles struggle to retain identity, glory and hope in environmental issues that suppress their feel and increases their humanity. Chido Kunene is outstanding as Jeta, an old hand in the Centre. Articulate and compassionate, her reference volunteers insight into the meridians from which an individual can descend, losing her family, education and quality of life of canadians, until she is ultimately beaten by the system. Hannah( Laide Sonola) is still almost a child, streetwise and independent, but with a remorseless backstory. Sonola becomes incredible abuse of pause and silence to evidence unspoken trauma, involving tending for her disregarded reputation. Keicha’s decline into mental illness is strikingly effective. Adeleke brilliantly contains the gathering in the palm of her pas as her attentions stare wildly, and she withdraws into her curiosity, clinging onto what remains of her identity.
By the end of the play the three fibs have become intertwined and the drama develops an nearly sublime quality as these disparate gals, hurting in isolation, create their own spiritual hamlet, based on tones of pity, humanity and hope. It is merely as they come together in this way that the light-headed in their noses reignites and glitters, in an feeling culmination, indicative of the lesson from the beginning.
This is an eye-opening piece of work that challenges our knowledge of what abuses are happening under our snouts. If things are like this in Ireland, what is the status in the UK? Are we continuing its own responsibilities to these vulnerable people, and what is our place as individuals in the global village? It is a superb piece of storytelling, which exerts minimal placing with huge humanity to create a space to question culpability in allowing this to happen.
Written by: Darren DonohueDirected by: Rebecca Pryle& Velenzia SpearpointDramaturg by: Matilda VelevitchProduced by: Natalie Chan
I and the Village is playing until 5 June, including a Saturday matinee. Further information and booking can be found via the below link.
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