Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London SW1
Opened 4 July, 1991

Seven thirty-minute plays were commissioned from writers around the world: four of these are presented (one each week plus a rehearsed reading) as curtain-raisers to Ariel Dorfman's Death And The Maiden, a Latin American Extremities in which, after a chance encounter 15 years on, Paulina imprisons and "tries" a man whom she accuses of having been her torturer.

Bill Paterson's liberal husband (now serving on a Presidential committee of inquiry into the "disappeared" and an impromptu defence counsel to the alleged torturer) and Juliet Stevenson's chillingly mesmerising Paulina, swinging between psychotic excesses of revenge and (whenever she hears the wicked doctor's beloved Schubert) tearful breakdown, tread the moral minefield of ends justifying means and two wrongs making a right, just as the barbaric dictatorship had done, and not always with finer consciences. Deeply unsettling and strongly recommended.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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