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They Won't Kill You

Michael Ross
CP Theatre Productions
Baron's Court Theatre
(2006)

Can you imagine a world run by a government posing as your guardian?

Michael Ross's satirical play exposes the increasing power our government has over us, forcing the audience to question the reality of our own liberty.

This fictional government is run by Britain's new Team Leader (reminiscent of Tony Blair in mannerisms, played with conviction by Paul Devaney), who wants to make you a social, friendly, enthusiastic team player. Should you be unfortunate enough to be a Loner, like mummy's boy Malcolm (played convincingly by Dylan Mc Donough), you will be considered a threat to national security and admitted into a 'Self Realization Refuge'.

These secure units are run by government officials who appear to adopt social worker sentimentalities. Ward Parry played the callous Tom, effortlessly, while Georgina Carey, playing Barbara, proves to be a versatile performer. Inside the 'E wing' you will find the Loner, the Religious Fanatic based on the guy who spreads his message in Oxford St (Roy played by Pete Picton), the Artist, (Tori, played by Marilyn O'Brien) and the Hair-Dresser (Graham, played by Anthony Mackey). The comment on these misfits is obvious enough and apart from the old 'Art' argument between the government official and Tori (which is executed powerfully by Marilyn O'Brien), the play is refreshing.

Visually, this production is aesthetically pleasing (designed by Chris Mounsey and Fernando de Souza) and the use of projections (created by Sarah Smith) to illustrate the state of affairs is quite humorous. The play is full of twists and turns and complemented by fluid, clever writing that the story does not need to be so neatly resolved at the end.

They Won't Kill You is only Ross's second play, yet he writes with confidence, with a fresh look at the status quo, proving to be a very necessary play to watch.

Running until 2nd December

Reviewer: Lennie Varvarides