Dust

Ade Morris
Quidem Productions
New Town Theatre

Set on the day of Thatcher's death, this play takes a look at her opponent in the 1980s miners strikes, Arthur Scargill. It paints a grim picture of a man who stared too long at the Abyss. It is a moving piece which, like Scargill, has a blurred line between reality and fiction.

Michael Strobel is magnificent as Scargill in his seventies but still loudly defending his past decisions from his London penthouse. He receives a visit from his past and Lawrence (Stewart Howson), an ex-miner with a story to tell. Though it is fictional, the unfolding of the past reveals much about Scargill and his legacy.

Lucinda Curtis provides another dimension to the dialogue as Scargill's posh publicist and Lawrence's story is portrayed through Chris (John Sackville) and Maggie (Alice Bernard). Switching between past and present in the same space and even jumping right back to another miner turned union leader, Scargill's hero A J Cook. This is a great historical play that manages to link the larger politics with the lives of the people affected.

The beauty of the production is that it sticks to a simple style, leaving the actors to carry the play. Strobel in particular shines as the man who let his ego take precedence over real people's lives.

Reviewer: Seth Ewin