Theatre Review: Public Interest at the New Diorama Theatre
Searing political drama on the torture of Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa in PUBLIC INTEREST at the New Diorama
Public Interest, written by Drew Ballantyne, takes on a powerful real-life subject matter which divided a nation.
Two intelligence officers grapple with the justification of torture before appearing at a public enquiry into the death of Iraqi civilian Baha Mousa, who was relentlessly beaten by British soldiers. He suffered more than 90 blows.
Tim Dewberry is the ambitious young soldier Captain Lucas trying to persuade his colleague to tow the party line – yet haunted by lingering doubts and a personal tragedy. Sidney Kean is cast as the philosophical and battle-worn Colonel Warner determined to justify his career. Ellie, played with vigour by Rachel Marwood, is the feisty waitress gradually joining their debate. In one memorable moment when cornered by an aggressive Captain Lucas, she shrugs: “He’s wooing me.”
The character of Ellie seemed slightly forced into the tension and the play also went on slightly too long. The most enjoyable part was watching two military foes, played convincingly and with passion by Kean and Dewberry, as they argue about current conflicts and institutionalised beliefs.
You may also want to watch:
It is no mean feat handling a story based on torturing with intelligence, subtly and humour – but this political drama somehow pulls it off.
* Showing at the New Diorama Theatre in Triton Street, Regents Place, NW1 until Saturday, June 25.
- 1 Arsenal Women on cloud nine after big FA Cup win
- 2 Jailed: Former Islington police officer raped children's home teen
- 3 Reader letters: Islington's Low Traffic Neighbourhoods - for and against
- 4 Dame Alice Owen pupils protest over racist language
- 5 Could Islington become a holiday destination?
- 6 Six flee Finsbury Park house fire
- 7 Revealed: Latest Covid-related death figures for Islington
- 8 Islington Council set to save Grade II-listed South Library from disrepair
- 9 'Massive stabbing' in Old Street: Man attacked outside Moorfields Hospital
- 10 Obituary: 'Striking and beautiful' north London mother Mary Collins