Friday, 13 April 2012

Update: review of Esther O'Toole's 'The Crossing' Exeter Bikeshed Theatre Mon-Sat 9-14 April


The cast of Esther O'Toole's 'The Crossing'
in the Exeter Bikeshed Theatre
Kwaku Boateng is 'Adofo'
Michael Offei is 'Daddy'
Michael Kofi is 'Monday'
There was just time, at the end of Tuesday's 'Classical Journey' programme on Phonic FM, to mention this week's theatre production at the Exeter Bikeshed Theatre.

Esther O'Toole's 'The Crossing' is produced by 'Tangle Plays'. The play features three Ghanaian men crossing Africa from Accra to Tripoli and attempting to cross the mediterranean to Europe.

This play was extremely moving. The three Ghanaian actors gave a compelling account of the plight of refugees who, having reluctantly left their home country, are trying desperately to get to a place where they could find hope.

The audience could feel the vulnerability and fear of the three men, reviled by local people wherever they go, hounded by local police and border patrols, and exploited and cheated by 'organisers' on whom they were forced to rely for 'crossings' - whether the obstacle is the desert or the sea.

There was some comfort for the men (and the audience) in their comradeship and support for each other. It is clear, however, that even three men working together face a struggle against overwhelming odds as they try to complete their terrifying journey.

Esther O'Toole's script, sensitively directed by Anna Coombs, allows us to feel the tension and the frustrations of these three characters - a sobering glimpse into the distressing lives of refugees wherever they are in the world.

'The Crossing' opened on Monday night and runs until Saturday night (14th April)
Tickets still available (£10/£7). (Jump to the Tangle press release for full details.)

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