Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fugee, Traverse Theatre, 14 March 2008

My son Ruairidh has recently been playing Boyfriend/Passport Controller/Kid With Gun 3 in Lyceum Youth Theatre's production of Abi Morgan's Fugee at the Traverse Theatre, directed by Xana Maclean. (He's on the far left in the rehearsal shot above, as Kid With Gun 3.) The play tells the story of Kojo, an asylum seeker from Cote d'Ivoire. The 17 young Scots in the cast are called on to play people of very different racial characteristics, and sometimes gender, from their own. This is quite deliberate, and the script refers in several places to"the actor playing me", sometimes with humorous effect . The idea, as far as I can tell, is to universalise the story, bringing home to a mostly white middle-class audience the tale of an eleven-year-old boy abducted from his (murdered) family and forced to become a child soldier; of his processing three years later through the system in the UK, and of our government's strenuous - and successful - efforts to classify a fourteen-year-old boy as an adult and thus shrug off responsibility for his welfare. I am neither naive about government treatment of asylum seekers nor easily shocked, and I found Fugee deeply disturbing. The cast met real asylum seekers from Rwanda and Somalia during rehearsal and this seems to have given their portrayals an extra edge.

The production was very imaginative (while the script was immutable the production details were worked out with the cast in rehearsal). A collection of red boxes of various sizes formed all the set, as well as holding all the props. Four ghetto-blasters operated by the cast provided all the sound. As to the acting, Kojo (Danny Miller) was exceptionally good, as was Ara (Natalie MacKinnon). It will be interesting to see how the production translates to the Lyceum itself (going from a small in-the-round space to a large proscenium theatre) in June.


At 19 March, 2008 16:12, Anonymous JoeInVegas said...

Wow - quite a talented household.


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