NEW VOICES: Faith Over Reason/The Changing Reason/Sab
Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London SW1
Opened 15 October, 1992

A trio of plays involving young people re-examining their relationships with the world. Sarah Hunter's Faith Over Reason tackles domestic/sexual violence, opening up from the gamut of ideologically sanctioned images and responses to question the role of the women's self-help group as a screen from reality, and the fundamental revulsion caused by suffering and retaliation alike. Noel MacAoidh's The Changing Reason focuses on the adolescent Paul, unable to stomach the platitudes of his father's funeral or to preserve his sanity in the face of the "secret" they shared (never explained, but we're left in no doubt of sexual abuse). The longer but lighter Sab, by Michael Cook, centres on a university group of hunt saboteurs, whose expedition takes them to the junction of ecological consciousness, personal complications and good old class war.

Designer Lucy Hall's cuboid of scaffolding is filled and draped to become anything from a dank cellar to a deserted moor (complete with miniature sheep suspended on mobiles). Noteworthy among the company of seven are Cara Kelly as (in order) a battered woman reluctant to admit to her victimhood, Paul's stressed and suffering mother, and a hilariously charming new age hippie hunt sab; and Callum Dixon as the fretful Paul himself and the combat-jacketed, DM'd prole provocateur Lewis. Watch these names.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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