This play will loom in your conscience with uncomfortable truths and disturbing tension in hanging over the space; Brechtian without losing humanity, Evros is unavoidably relevant in its disturbing illustration of oppressive systems and dehumanisation.
Separated from our partners and stripped of our bags upon entry, we are immediately immersed in vulnerable uncertainty, this is emblematic from the unpretentious, honest method with which Evros presents the reality of being a refugee. Through intimately painful movement sequences, the subtext relentlessness of refugee persecution is never far from your mind in this politically fueled work.
Evros makes full use of the Brechtian methods of Epic Theatre while maintaining the human stories through honest, compelling multi-rolling and a creative use of soundscape. The sounds, or lack there of are used to great effect, most notably the drum which is symbolic of both the oppressive military presence and the unforgiving racing past of time.
Mute screams, uncomfortable pauses and silence transfers the overwhelming fear without telling us what to think, and in doing so provokes the audience into a personal response. Evros quietly asks us “If we do not speak do we become guilty, or at least complicit?”
Evros is especially compelling in the masterful balance between individual narratives and an awareness of the overriding themes. Movement sequences give the piece a seemingly relentless continuity as what begins as a smooth playful moment gradually descends into an exhausting disjointed punishing sequence which shows identities being eroded.
While adults acting like children can occasionally be a little cringe-worthy, this is negotiated well in the acknowledgement of its performativity. Robin Paley Yorke excels alongside the ever-changing cast who brilliantly slip between different roles in order to confront the audience with a well-rounded presentation of the reality of the treatment of refugees.
Transitions are used to great effect, deliberately interrupting intimate moments of intimacy, implying the absolute disruptive effect of war. This is emblematic of the brilliant structure of the play, setting itself up before echoing back – a well developed narrative.
Throughout Evros, there is a broken vulnerable intimacy which pushes the audience to question and reconsider our role in the treatment in those we are indoctrinated to see as other. 4/5
Review written by Charlie Froy.
Evros: The Crossing River was shown on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th November 2019 at Albany Deptford. To find out more about the production, visit here…
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