Showing @ Traverse Theatre until Sat 12 Mar @ 13:00
It’s not difficult to see the parallels in Davey Anderson’s adaptation of A Dead Man’s Dying between Augustino’s (Lewis Howden) defiant ownership of land and Col. Gadaffi’s cling to leadership in Libya. Unfortunately, while Gadaffi refrains from stepping down, the Middle East is torn between the faithful and rebellious. Anderson’s production is a comical comeuppance of the leader and his wife, Carmen (Anne Lacey), who plots (ineffectively) to regain power and control of land.
Originally written by Colombian Esteban Navajas Cortes, Anderson’s play translates well into British current affairs. There’s a hint of Macbeth about the whole situation; something cunning and wicked about Carmen and her compliance with her husband’s deceit. Lacey’s frank but funny portrayal wins us over and as she reminisces over her wedding with Augustino, the situation is humanised and we are given understanding of the plight of these particular characters. The brilliance of the production lies in the subtlety by which Anderson builds the supporting characters Otilia (Mairi Morrison) and Beningo (Barrie Hunter); the ambiguity of their intentions at the beginning of the play are clarified in the climax resulting in a sly but sure defeat of their ruler. The presence of dictatorships and their allegiance to Western superpowers is nothing new to Middle Eastern, or South American, citizens. What’s different is the sudden belief that the pursuit of revolution can lead to change, and as Anderson shows, you don’t have to scream and shout to achieve it.