The Tender Mercies

 

If Sladjana Vujovic's play about gratuitous cruelty and violence, set in a post-civil war dungeon, in some unnamed place at no given time, is to engage an audience actively in a theatre, it probably requires a highly-stylised production with a sharp theatrical edge.

This, alas, it did not get at the hands of the Dark Horse Theatre Company, whose production lacked evidence of any significant theatrical imagination, while the staging and performances, showing commendable commitment, evinced little sign of any mastery of skill or technique.

The lighting, dim and flat, provided neither atmosphere nor adequate illumination. The setting could not rise in imagination above some stacked concrete blocks. The acting lacked projection and physical finesse. The result is an evening that comes across as gross and gauche as we watch two prisoners, tortured and taunted - and their smirking keeper - all talking awkward and unreal words about issues that here are given no dramatic relevance and provide no theatrical satisfaction.

Continues until December 9th. To book, phone: (01) 6713387.