Review: The Idiot At The Wall, Bedlam Theatre

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YOU don’t have to like Gaelic, let alone understand it, to appreciate this heart-rending tale based on a harrowing Western Isles ballad.

Set on the Hebrides at the end of the Great War, it’s akin to a Gael’s version of a Greek tragedy.

Here, flame-haired islander Odhran falls for her pretentious London-based sister’s opulent new friend, Lord Henry.

The family, naturally, are slightly defensive – scared even – of Henry’s suave southern ways despite his wont to learn and preserve his new-found, isolated culture.

Like most Gaelic ballads, the story never ends well and this is no different. It’s gripping stuff, though, and draws you in knowing you want to learn more.

Little twists along the way certainly deviate away from the seemingly 
obvious, yet the climax still comes as a shock.

Accompanied by a great folky sound track, this is a bona fide piece of theatre that does its subject’s 
culture – as well as its setting, characters, and sounds – justice.

No tartan tack here thank you very much.

Indeed, written by Elspeth Turner, her debut play, you’d think it was scripted by a prolific seasoned 
playwright.

Until August 25