Theatre in Wales

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At Company of Sirens

Company of Sirens- Troyanne , Chapter Cardiff , October 16, 2013
As I left the performance of Troyanne at Chapter a group of women who had been in the audience at Chapter's studio were tightening into a group hug, seeking mutual solace and comfort after the relentless pain of the play.  This is an unflinching, deeply tragic play based on true stories of personal loss suffered as a result of America's epidemic of gun ownership and gunplay.  Ian Rowlands has written a world-class drama – a steely, unflinching and entirely unsentimental work.  

The quartet of actors (Caroline Bunce, Rebecca Knowles, Jannah Warlow and Dick Bradnum) totally and collectively delivered, offering cool performances of nuanced pain, rage against the Fates and world-whipped resignation, with the emotions constantly pressure-cooking on the inside, all under the assured direction of Chris Durnall.  Boldly, and very baldly staged,  employing the very minimum of props (but given implied space and the colour of birdsong courtesy of a very effective sound design by Dan Lawrence) this was and is Greek tragedy for gun-ridden times. Powerful.  Challenging.  And deeply, deeply wounding. 
This production by Company of Sirens deserves to, and needs to be seen more widely.  It is not a preacherly play, but it is most disarmingly powerful (pardoning the pun) in its examination of the painful and tragic consequences of lax gun control in a huge country. 

Reviewed by: Jon Gower

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