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Review of Our Shadows Walk Unfinished Business Theatre Company

Our Shadows Walk is the latest theatrical offering from Unfinished Business Theatre Company, written by Danny Pegg and Directed by Alex Israel, currently showing at Etcetera Theatre in Camden.

Our Shadows WalkThe Etcetera Theatre is a fringe venue for theatre and comedy. Founded in 1986 and situated above The Oxford Arms pub in Camden Town. There is a certain atmosphere or ambience that only small fringe theatres can bring to a production and the Etcetera Theatre certainly does that. Like many fringe venues the performance space and the audience seating area are on the smaller side, making it a rather intimate venue. This was the perfect venue for Our Shadows Walk and complimented the story perfectly.

Our Shadows Walk is a powerful and thought provoking piece of theatre that depicts Great Britain with a new politically charged power regime. As you enter the space there is a cleaner meticulously cleaning the floor, table and walls, with different coloured cloths, and a spray bottle of cleaner. The audience are then introduced to Goldsmith, played by Anna McCormick and Terrence, played by Deniz Barazi. They are official agents about to start their second assignment for this secret department, at first it is unclear as to what their job is, until the arrival of Benjamin. Benjamin has been charged with high treason and is put through a somewhat humiliating and rather unorthodox line of interrogation in an attempt to obtain a confession. The main problem is that Benjamin is suffering with memory loss but is certain he has committed no such offence and should not be there. As the play continues the interrogators soon find themselves being interrogated and it becomes clear that even the smallest of mistakes can have the gravest of consequences for anyone. Which begs the question, is anyone actually safe? A rather poignant question to ask when discussing politics.

Jacob Dunn plays Benjamin, Dunn executes this role perfectly, he succeeds in delivering a character who is clearly distressed, extremely nervous and fearful for the safety of his family as well as his own life. Dunn achieves absolute performance gold with this character, as a person Dunn is tall and broad in stature but manages to shrink through intense vulnerability.

Another of the actors in the cast is Lisa Morris who plays a character called Carmine, a senior agent working for this secret department. Morris was an absolute pleasure to watch, the razor sharp delivery of her dialogue was so impressive I am still unsure as to whether she stopped to breathe. Everything about Morris’ performance was clean and precise and every word she spoke was articulated and executed perfectly.

No matter how well written and directed a play is, which this one actually is, a strong cast of actors is essential to bring the words to life. This small cast of six work extremely well with one another, resulting in a slick and fast-paced performance. Each member of the cast gave very strong, stand alone performances but never pulled focus, which is refreshing to see in a production of this size. Even though the play has some rather serious subject matter there are moments of superb comic relief that provide a great contrast to some of the more shocking elements in the play.

The beauty of the play is in the narrative, as well as being an entertaining piece of theatre it also educates and tells a story, in fact it is very reminiscent of a Brechtian play. As long as there are theatre makers and theatre companies in operation and politics to provide copious amounts of inspiration, you can guarantee quality theatre will be produced and staged.

Our Shadows Walk is playing at the Etcetera Theatre until 5th July, no performances on Sundays and Mondays and tickets cost £13.50 or £10.00 for concessions.

Review by Haydn James

+++++++

Our Shadows Walk
Ben has been told he has committed high treason. He knows he didn’t do it – but they’ve got it on tape. Terence and Goldsmith are new at work. They’ve really got to impress. Then – they meet Ben.

Our Shadows Walk is a piercing drama with black humour which captures a picture of Britain through a truly cracked lens.

We are confronted with the inner workings of a government bureau in a world in which terror has become policy. Where the smallest of mistakes can lead to the severest of consequences – whether you are the average citizen or a government agent.

Unfinished Business Theatre Company was set up in 2010 by Danny Pegg and Alex Israel. To date the company has produced five plays.

Listings Information
The Etcetera Theatre, Camden, The Oxford Arms, 265 Camden High St, London, NW1 7BU
18th – 21st June, 24th – 28th June and 1st – 5th July – all performances start at 7:30pm
Box Office: www.etceteratheatre.com or by telephone 0207 482 4857
Prices – £13.50 / Concessions £10 (OAP/Student/Equity/Etcetera Member)

Saturday 21st June 2014

Author

  • Haydn James

    Haydn trained as an actor at Rose Bruford Drama School. He has worked nationally and internationally in theatre and as an actor and entertainer in some of London’s top tourist attractions. He is now training to be a drama and performing arts lecturer. Haydn has always had a passion and love for the theatre and enjoys watching as much theatre as possible. Follow on Twitter @HaydnJames82

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