Theatre review: Tejas Verdes
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Tejas Verdes at Just Festival at St John’s (Venue 127), reviewed by Joyce McMillan
There is an admirable intensity and complexity about Firmin Cabal’s monologue Tejas Verdes, which takes its title from the notorious villa in the Chilean capital Santiago where left-wing suspects were held and tortured following the country’s military coup in 1973.
Over an hour, in front of a screen showing subtle images of the villa, the single speaker takes on a series of identities, all looking back at the act of torture from different perspectives. There is the disappeared woman, her friend, a military doctor, a gravedigger, an informer, a lawyer defending the torturers, and a soul in torment, waiting for release.
As we begin to realise that the friend and the informer are the same person, the sheer horror of torture, and way it destroys morality and personality, becomes ever clearer to us.
In truth, though, this is a story that has often been told, 40 years on. And although Madeleine Potter gives a heartfelt and highly emotional performance in this show, I was left with a slight feeling that emotion is no longer enough; and that somewhere in this text there is a snap and drive of political and psychological analysis that needs a rawer voice, and a tougher, less yielding performance style.
MORE INFO: Tejas Verdes at Just Festival at St John’s (Venue 127), 2pm until 26 August
Originally published in The Scotsman