Theatre review: Kabul
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Kabul at Venue 150 @ EICC (Venue 150), reviewed by Matt Trueman
Dancing, singing and painting are prohibited. You can’t laugh in public. Painting your nails can cost you a finger. This is Afghanistan in the late-Nineties, under the fundamentalist laws of the Taleban.
In this ritualistic drama, Brazilian company Amok Teatro imagine the circumstances behind a photograph: a woman in a light-blue burqa is facing execution in a Kabul stadium. The city is “an antechamber for death”.
A jailer, left disabled by war, has no inmates; the last having been stoned this morning. His wife is dying, but has no access to healthcare. His brother-in-law can find no work. Frustration gets the better of him. He picks up a stone and joins the mob, much to his wife’s chagrin. After ten days of not talking, frustration gets the better of her.
Strip away the production’s exoticism and it’s more or less EastEnders abroad: ordinary lives with the drama ramped up. Ana Teixeira and Stephane Brodt’s absorbing production is exquisitely designed, performed with real discipline and, thanks to the use of indigenous instruments, richly atmospheric.
MORE INFO: Kabul at Venue 150 @ EICC (Venue 150), Until 24 August
Originally published in The Scotsman