Theatre Review: The Events

The Events. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Events. Picture: Greg Macvean

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HOW to make sense of a massacre. That is the problem presented to protagonist, priest and choir leader Claire (Neve McIntosh) and, by extension, to the audience.

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Traverse

As The Boy, Rudi Dharmalingam is the perpetrator of ‘the events’, a deliberately lightly detailed, mass shooting in a school which, although fictional, clearly echoes many recent tragedies. Claire survived the shooting, but she is emotionally devastated by a need to understand, to make sense of the insensible. Is the perpetrator of such an act evil, or insane? Does it matter?

In this quest for resolution, writer David Greig seems to throw every dramatic, linguistic and theatrical tool in the box at the seemingly insoluble problem. And so, via The Boy several other perspectives manifest; Claire’s girlfriend and her therapist among others.

These transitions between different voices, and from past to present, real to imagined and from tragedy to comedy are not always clearly signalled and are occasionally a little abrupt or confusing as a result. Then again, how do you make sense of a massacre?

There is a different choir onstage at the Traverse for each show. Coroedina do a wonderful job at this performance, shifting between hymns, harmonies and Dizzie Rascal with graceful ease.

The Events is excellent theatre - thought-provoking, challenging, witty and well-acted. Just don’t expect it to have all the answers.