Wednesday, October 03, 2018

'Bismillah' by Matthew Greenhough

3 October 2018

On Tuesday we were at the Stantonbury Theatre in Milton Keynes to see Wound Up Theatre’s production of ‘Bismillah’, written and performed by Matthew Greenhough. Somewhere in Iraq a British solider is is being held prisoner by ISIS, chained to a metal pole. But when he discovers his captor comes from London and speaks English they embark on a conversation that becomes a very black comedy. Directed by Jonny Kelly, this two-hander is a really good example of fringe theatre, with the audience on the stage, surrounding and very close to the actors. This creates a claustrophobic atmosphere – making us feel inside the prison cell. Matthew Greenhough’s script is very funny, while never forgetting the brutality of the situation. He does a great job of showing how soldiers on both sides often only have a fairly hazy grasp of what they are fighting for. The play manages to be gripping, laugh-out-loud funny and very frightening and is excellently acted by Matthew Greenhough and Elliot Liburd. It’s often uncomfortable to watch but completely compelling.

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