“A voice for the voiceless.”
– Joan Iyiola
Nouveaux Rates: 5/5
Spectacular is simply an understatement.
Danai Gurira’s astonishing play about four women in the midst of a nation-tearing civil war is an epic theatrical production which presents love, humour, wrath, tragedy, austerity and mostly sisterhood.
Set in a war-torn Liberia, the story focuses on the unity between four dissimilar women who find themselves under the bondage of the notorious warlord/commanding officer and live as “wives” in a hierarchy system where they call themselves in ranks – Number One, Number Two, Number Three and Number Four – which indicates who has been of service to their captor
Throughout the play’s 105 minutes duration, we are taken on a journey through each character’s story illustrating the severity of the country’s situation and the lifestyle women had to endure whilst trying to discover their identities and purpose in a horrid and unfathomable world.
In the beginning of Gurira’s masterpiece, as an audience we are introduced to a feeble looking semi-educated innocent girl whom is initially known simply to us as ‘The Girl’ and subsequently referred to as Number Four.
Through the course of the play an in and out appearance is made by Number Two, a brutalised and tortured soul traumatised and hardened by a life of tragedy and physical and mental abuse who then decides to join the rebel army in order to eradicate her grisly past. Possessing a sheer persuasive and aggressive tone, she influences Number Four to join the rebel task force by manipulating and targeting her feminine vulnerabilities.
Directing her first full-length play, director Caroline Byrne administers an almighty performance of a well-communicated account of the devastating 14 yearlong civil war in a nation brought back to normality through the unity and strength of the Women Peace Workers Initiative.
Profound, raw and sincere. Gurira’s masterpiece is an emotion evoking and well-constructed production which details the chemistry between the characters. Arguably one of the most striking and creative theatrical production to grace London’s theatre scene this year so far, ‘Eclipsed’ is mind-gripping and thought-provoking.
Eclipsed is on till Tuesday May 19th 2015
Venue name: Gate Theatre
Address: 11 Pembridge Rd (above the Prince Albert Pub), Notting Hill, London W11 3HQ
Transport: Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Price: £20, £15 concessions