The Curing Room*** (Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 14, 2014 in Theatre

TheCuringRoom-620x330What better way to spend a lunch hour in Edinburgh than in the company of a group of naked cannibals? In the Spring of 1944 in Southern Poland, a group of seven Soviet soldiers is taken prisoner by the Nazis, thrown naked into a cellar and abandoned with no means to escape. As days become weeks, the seven become hungrier and they realise that there can be only one source of sustenance available to them. A little like Agatha Christies’s Ten Little….., the question now becomes who will be the first and next to fall? In common with all stories of incarceration, David Ian Lee’s play relies upon the development of strong characters and he is served well by excellent performances all round. Stand outs are Marion Solomon as a reluctant leader, Matt Houston as a boastful Georgian ex-farmer and Thomas Holloway as a simpleton. However, this is a grizzly affair that makes us long for a return to the days when suggestions of unpleasant things were enough to trigger an audience’s imagination; the gratuitous offal on display in this production actually works against the drama by distracting our attention from the characters and making us divert our eyes in disgust. Stark realism is a positive feature of this production, but it is taken just a little too far.

Performance date: 14 August 2014

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