Shameful reminder

 

It would be difficult to know exactly how to describe Srebrenica - drama documentary, reality theatre, theatrical journalism - if its writer and director, Nicholas Kent, had not voluntarily supplied the label. "This play is propaganda," he says, unequivocally.

It's rather a relief to hear that, for one can then set aside the niceties of political correctness and absorb the testimonies laid bare on stage with all the feelings of cold shock and outraged shame that this Tricycle Theatre production intended.

One's current perceptions of courtroom dramas are of the tabloid variety, beamed across the Atlantic. Nothing could offer a starker contrast than this cool, clinical presentation of the real evidence given during the Rule 61 Hearings against Radovan Karadzic and General Mladic, which took place in The Hague in July last year and whose distressing contents were almost entirely unreported by the British media. On the surface, this would appear to make for unpromising theatre. But rarely can an audience have been so transfixed, at times almost to the point of trauma, by the individual performances of a supremely accomplished cast and the terrible, real-life story, told from the different perspectives of the four featured witnesses.