"acted with conviction, needs simplification."
by Coco Hall for remotegoat on 11/05/11

Woman Bomb is an interesting play. Talking about it after, Mr Coco and I weren't in agreement. I found this exploration of a difficult topic interesting and though we both thought it had moments where it nearly flies, he found it also very confusing at points. I found it rather reminiscent of Beckett's explorations in form, it doesn't really have much plot, it's more of a musing on the topic.

It's a style of political, polemical writing that I haven't seen in a while and I'd like to see a bit more of.

Female playwrights are often criticised for their tendency to play with form; but I enjoy that. In this interpretation of the play we have 3 actresses playing the same role, though this seems to have been a directoral decision. It's set in a kind of non-space, and the characters fuse into one another, from an author writing about a bomber into a female suicide bomber. Here we seem to have a raw, sometimes violent splitting of the Id, the Ego and the Super Ego.

Projections sometimes enhance the text but are sometimes a bit distracting. Lighting effects focus the action on the audience. A road deteriorates as it's kicked to pieces. Research papers are strewn around mirroring the bomb's devastation.

There are lots - maybe too many - of good ideas in the staging of the piece. The text is a mix of facts about female suicide bombers and their actions, and fiction about the nameless, motiveless protagonist.

The three actresses playing Woman Bomb all deliver with conviction, but for a real punch the piece needs to be simplified, to have less fancy staging ideas and concentrate more on the text. One thing it definitely is though, is thought provoking.

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