Article Title:Review: Auckland Theatre Company's Blackbird
Author or Credit:Larry Jenkins
Published on:9th September 2008 - 03:06 pm
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Story ID:6464
Text:When Ray and Una embarked on a relationship, Ray was an adult – but Una was only 12. 15 years later she's tracked him down. Is she after revenge? Review: Blackbird, a play in one act by David Harrower Michael Hurst, Liesha Ward Knox Directed by Margaret-Mary Hollins Auckland Theatre Company Production Maidment Theatre, Auckland, 7 September David Harrower maintains that Blackbird is not about paedophilia. But if this Olivier Award-winning piece concerns deeper matters – ok, call it child abuse if that's what he means – they don't usurp the central man-and-child virgin theme. Una comes to confront her "seducer" Ray sixteen years after he deflowered her, aged 12, and they talk about nothing else. As psychodramas go, it's not a comfortable experience, nor is it meant to be. That, at least, we can agree. This work, though, is not that simple, and ATC's production of it is in some respects a better interpretation than the original London one, which I saw last year. Set designer Robin Rawstorne's completely off-putting staff room in which the couple confront and try to rip one another apart mentally and physically is brought closer to the audience; and the long and invasive windows behind which the workers constantly parade back and forth are frosted, not clear as in the original, making the passaggiata that of ghostly apparitions rather than real but disinterested people. Touchy subjects: Liesha Ward Knox   
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