Feeding the Darkness- Reviews

 

An audience of 71 Friends at Yearly Meeting showed enthusiastic appreciation for  ‘Feeding the Darkness’ when it was performed at Drayton House on 28th May. The performance was just over one hour long, and was indeed excellent.

 

Eleven presentations, ‘ministries’, illuminate, in ways that engage the thoughts and emotions of an audience, the difficult subject of torture without recourse to gratuitous displays of violence.

 

Journeymen Theatre have read and researched widely, selected carefully from significant material and assembled the ‘ministries’ to show for example how enhanced interrogators might be selected, how Lynddie England at Abu Ghraib was affected when she obeyed orders to take part in torture sessions, how ‘misdescription’ may obscure state-sanctioned torture, how victims find it hard to convince officials of their suffering, how manufacturers may profit from an evil trade, how trained medical professionals can be involved, and other scenes.

 

Journeymen engage us with simple props and surprising music. they mesh cleverly together into a performance of carefully selected themes with strong impact. A comparison with the force and economy of good poetry is, I think, appropriate.

 

Michael Still

 

….and at Colwyn Bay Quaker Meeting House on June 5th (part of the Peace Works weekend )

 

This was the last of the three plays put on by Journeymen Theatre for Conwy County Peace Group and about 25 people came. There was silence at the end while the audience took in the impact of the message and then a thoughtful discussion led by the local Amnesty international secretary. Some of the comments written afterwards show the force of the performance:

 

    This drama deserves and needs to be seen/experienced widely. It is an extraordinary description of a trade that is pervasive but largely hidden. We all need to find ways to ‘starve the darkness’. thank you.

 

    These intelligently and movingly written monologues and duologues were very disturbing. Disturbing because they so forcefully made me/us realise the inhumnaity of we humans. And we must face this and own this. The torturer and the victim is me. Bravo for writing and performing such needed works.

 

    Powerful!

 

    A very moving experience, its simplicity and truth go to both heart and head. We hope this work can continue through us.

 

    Very absorbing play. Wonderfully written and acted. Should be compulsory viewing for all adults aged 18+. It helps me face and own our inner darkness. We are ‘the other’. thank you both.

 

    Very effective presentation, without gratuitous detail, of a wide range of torture and inhumane treatment. As always most professional and credible presentation, in tune with Quaker ethos and approach.

 

    Wonderfully informative for anyone not aware of this awful problem. Congratulations on putting it over so effectively. It must take it out of you! God bless you both.

 

‘ Thank you to both of you for all that has gone into making Feeding the Darkness yet another powerful production for Journeymen Theatre. Last night’s performance successfully raised all kinds of issues in such a way as to be engaging yet very challenging.

 

I particularly appreciated the skilful way in which sufficient references were made to specific abominable practices without ever allowing it to be overdone. As I ‘slept on it’ last night, it brought all kinds of concerns and issues to my mind…..thoughts of how power is so regularly and commonly abused. The scripting and sequence of pieces meant that the message came through so convincingly that all torture of any kind or at any time has to be seen as the most unacceptable form of human behaviour, to be objected and resisted in any ways that we can, and, if not, our ‘silence is consent’.

 

……..I’m sure it will be seen by all Friends as the wake-up call and stimulus to being more active in monitoring, resisting and also exposing and shaming any such practices in or by our own country, as well as elsewhere’

 

 ‘ Thank you to both of you for all that has gone into making Feeding the Darkness yet another powerful production for Journeymen Theatre. Last night’s performance successfully raised all kinds of issues in such a way as to be engaging yet very challenging.

 

I particularly appreciated the skilful way in which sufficient references were made to specific abominable practices without ever allowing it to be overdone. As I ‘slept on it’ last night, it brought all kinds of concerns and issues to my mind…..thoughts of how power is so regularly and commonly abused. The scripting and sequence of pieces meant that the message came through so convincingly that all torture of any kind or at any time has to be seen as the most unacceptable form of human behaviour, to be objected and resisted in any ways that we can, and, if not, our ‘silence is consent’.

 

……..I’m sure it will be seen by all Friends as the wake-up call and stimulus to being more active in monitoring, resisting and also exposing and shaming any such practices in or by our own country, as well as elsewhere’

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