hang, Crucible Studio
In a bright modern office complete with water cooler and fish tank, two officials are interviewing a woman. She is taciturn and resentful at their patronising attempts to engage with her.
It is only gradually established that this is some sort of tribunal for victims of crime who can determine the fate of the perpetrator in an imaginary Britain which has restored capital punishment.
The nameless characters are delineated in the programme by number, we never learn exactly the crime that devastated Three’s family, still less about the attacker except he had blue eyes.
Playwright debbie tucker green favours words and emotions over narrative and context.
Diveen Henry’s excellent performance boils up from sullen insularity to aggressive anger which clearly intimidates Marianne Oldham’s One, desperately trying not to break protocol and show feeling. Sid Sagar as her eager colleague is blissfully unaware of a propensity to puthis foot in it.
Director Taio Lawson uses lighting and sound (designed by Andy Purves and Dan Balfour) to reinforce the sterile atmosphere.
The sheer inhumanity of this future vision comes shockingly to life when Two enthusiastically lays out the execution options from which Three takes her pick. While hang explores justice and retribution it is as much about uncaring bureaucracy with its petty rules which have a grim hilarity. Ian Soutar