Gobsmacked Theatre Company
Two female soldiers rest on their packs, one clean uniformed, sharp-eyed and carrrying a rifle, the other bedraggled, blood spattered and fed up. They talk, abstractly, in short sentences about a half forgotten, half repressed past. How did they get there? What has befallen them? Where exactly is here?
Dropped takes cues from the best of the surrealist theatrical tradition, and most closely draws comparions to Beckett, with the added flavour of a smattering of Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildernstern. But, rather than opting to ponder the nature of existence, Dropped peers into ever-current topics of women at war, and the perils of western military forces in the middle east.
It's a subtly emotive piece, drawing deep on the reserves of young actors Sarah Cullinan and Natalia Sledz, showing them move skillfully from childish banter, to frantic despair and unsettling horror as the play progresses. Hinting continually at people and events that are evoked but never grounded in too much detail.
While there are sections that do outstay their welcome, as do some of the more repetitious moments of the dialogue, the brilliance of the piece lies in that it keeps its answers carefully vague and subject to multiple interpretations, making Dropped a play that will sit with you long after the house lights have come up.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan