The 'Lockerbie Bomber'

The Nugget Theatre Company

C Chambers Street

From 31 July 2013 to 13 August 2013

Rating: ***

Review by Graeme Strachan

25 years on from the tragedy of the Lockerbie Disaster, and questions still hang in the minds of the people of Scotland.

The most expensive court case ever held under the Scottish justice system led to a contentious conviction of the 'Lockerbie Bomber' which is still questioned to this day. It's the nature of these questions and doubts, along with the old scars that lie with the victims' families, which build the basis for Nugget Theatre's play.

Tying together a quarter of a century of information, supposition and political intrigue in a single hour is difficult in any fashion, and the decision to form a narrative fiction around the events allows the play to cover multiple angles and points of view. Much of the play is performed in an almost Greek Chorus fashion of addresses to the audience, which is often effective, more so than the occasionally overlong and repetitive vignettes linking the story.

There is a trio of tales interlocking throughout the play: a bereaved couple, failing to cope healthily with their grief, a pair of  well-intentioned but unscrupulous reporters and a government suit and his CIA contact. The three stories play out, with various crossovers, doing an impressive job of exposition that feels both natural and interesting.

The only problems in the piece seems to stem from the government conspiracy angle to the story, which feels slightly out of place consideiring theme of the play and the down-to-earth realism of the concept. The scenes involving the CIA torturer, while evocative and unsettling, feel almost as if they should be in a different play.

Perhaps 25 years isn't long enough for an event like Lockerbie to be dramatised quite so heavily.