Scotsman Assembly, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** More on war as a media commodity

Greg Lyon's play puts a first-time female reporter in a war zone, and watches her ideals come literally under fire.

Perhaps it is the solo format that suggests only so much ground can be covered, only so many points made. Sandy Walsh is an able performer (and has done a fair amount of actual TV presentation work into the bargain), but inevitably a solo show like this is going to work by telling us more than showing us. There is no human interaction, with Walsh taking both sides of dialogues, and no sense of wartime conditions. Indeed, one of the problems with Clive Paget's staging is that at the end of scenes, lights fade slowly while Walsh is still talking, rather than snapping off. This aids the pace of performance but adds an unnatural atmosphere that cuts against the drama.

When protagonist Liz finds the harrowing footage her more cynical cameraman had shot just before he was himself shot dead, she determines that her network should screen it. Her mission is to make a difference by reporting the horrors of war truthfully. She finds the unexpected cost of that difference brought home to her on a return visit. It's a well-crafted piece, but doesn't quite bite. Perhaps we already are already suffering from the war reportage fatigue that the characters ascribe to us.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

Return to index of reviews for the year 2002

Return to master reviews index

Return to main theatre page

Return to Shutters homepage