Helen

Tamsin Shasha and Jonathan Young

Actors of Dionysius

Brewery Arts Centre

On 15 November 2014

Review by Denis W McGeary

An ornate and beautifully draped four poster four poster bed is centre stage; Helen is performed in, around and on this wonderful bed.

Tamsin Shasha is Helen, waited on by her servant—or is he a slave or maybe her guard?—a handsome, fit, silent, at times caring and sometimes threatening presence played by Marcus Tajadura.

Set in a time that could be now, Helen is a lady with a past that has given her status and power. She is waiting for the return of her lover, the country is in turmoil. Helen represents that beautiful country, battered by the pressures of conflict and the fight for power.

Drugged, confused and, at times, wildly elated, Helen fights, unsuccessfully, to escape her silken prison. The sound of a helicopter panics her into dressing to meet her lover, Mitchell. He does not arrive, it’s a message—but then the TV news announces his death. Helen is distraught but then starts the fight for survival.

Helen plans to escape but with a war being fought outside her feverish plans are futile. Her mysterious and silent guard guards her and keeps her safe and alone in the luxury of her room

A passionate and intense piece of physical theatre, Helen is thought-provoking, powerful and makes you question so many of our current values. Obsession with power, celebrity and holding on to beauty. Holding on to power and celebrity too when beauty begins to fade.