“ Being performed in Edinburgh at the Space @ Royal College of Surgeons. „
Robert Gilbert's new production for this year's Edinburgh Fringe explores ideas of guilt and the justification of killing, set against the backdrop of political turmoil in an unnamed Middle Eastern state.
With its cumulative themes of racism and homophobia, 'By Order of Ignorance' runs the risk of being too sincere and preachy, but after two rather extraneous exposition scenes that seem more intent on clearing up any potential accusations of homophobia than anything else, the tense and uncomfortable play begins in earnest.
Performed in real-time by three talented men of Sell a Door Theatre Company, this forty-minute performance takes full advantage of the claustrophobic set in presenting the dilemma of two allegedly innocent Westerners held at gunpoint by a disturbed suicide bomber.
John Edon plays TV personality Jeff with convincing presence and insecurity, and his unlikely partnership with Carl Vorwerk's homophobic US infantryman Davey expands this beyond a mere us and them scenario, particularly as David Hutchinson's initially comedic suicide bomber Mo reveals increasingly dark shades of his own past and present.
Hutchinson (writer and star of last year's 'The Secrets Inside') excels as a troubled young man dragged into something he doesn't understand and driven by a desire to prove himself, and the interaction between the three makes the action unfold with satisfying and exciting tension.
The makeshift theatre of the Space venue is so compact and intimate as to really involve the audience in the drama, though whether you're brave enough to risk a front row seat and be engulfed is up to you.