The Infant

3 Stars

***

The Infant is a dark and sinister, if puzzling, comedy drama written by Oliver Lansley.

The play opens with Cooper (James Seagar) tied and gagged in a prison cell. His interrogators, Samedi (Anthony Spargo) and Castogan (Martyn Dempsey) appear. The action could well be anywhere at any time in the past in the last century or so. Cooper is confronted with a picture which in the eyes of the authorities is an act of state subversion. Cooper is questioned as to its origins. He recognises it as the drawing of his 4 year old child – or is it? His wife Lilly (Faye Billing) is brought in for questioning. She is confused by the picture’s origin.

The questioning is pursued relentlessly; opinions change as the interrogators are determined to find the culprit or culprits. They twist words, change mood and the threat of violence is never very far away. Hard evidence appears to be unnecessary. Denials count for nothing. Clues as to the content of the picture are never provided but do we need to know?

The play has a claustrophobic feel and the interrogators obsessional approach may not be to everybody’s taste. The dialogue is delivered at a rapid pace with short sharp bursts and the cast succeed in maintaining the precision timing required.   

Reviewed by Ben

Pleasance Courtyard – Forth: 33             

3 to 29 August 2011 (not 15, 16)

14.35 – 15.35

Fringe Programme Page Number: 271

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