Horizontal Collaboration**** (Traverse 2 Theatre, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 16, 2014 in Theatre

Horizontal-Collaboration-Traverse-Theatre-620x330The technique of getting actors, different for every performance, to read a play “blind” is not new (for example White Rabbit, Red Rabbit which is playing again at this Festival). Horizontal Collaboration, written and directed by David Leddy, requires four actors of either gender, any race or age, to appear in white shirts and judges’ robes, sit behind a long desk and read from computer screens. On this particular occasion, four middle-aged white actors, two men, two women, took the roles. Their characters are presiding over a War Crimes tribunal in The Hague and summarising the testimonies given so far. What follows resembles a suspense thriller of high intrigue, with twists and turns at every corner in a plot which concerns tribal conflicts in an unnamed African country and the less than reputable involvement of United Nations peacekeepers. So, how is this different from listening to an audio book? In reality, not much, except that, with the actors having no prior knowledge of the material, they have little opportunity to dramatise their delivery. Perhaps it is expected that actors will be visibly and audibly taken aback by plot developments, but, at this performance, all four were completely professional and read out their lines in a plain, matter of fact manner. However, all that really matters is that the presentation is effective in getting the story across, because this play is all about that story and it’s a cracker!

Performance date: 15 August 2014

This play is double-billed with a film entitled “City of the Blind”, made exclusively for smart phones or tablets

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