Billed with a family audience in mind for the over 9s in the 10am slot, Us/Them portays the events of a horrific terrorist attack through the eyes of two children in a enlightening and highly relevant piece of theatre.
Based on the tragic day in 2004 when a group of armed terrorists took over 1200 children and parents hostage in School 1 in Beslan, the whole performance is told from the perspective of two un-named children. The hostage situation lasted for fifty hours resulting in 334 dead, many of which were children.
As the events unfold, the set changes from a calm cloakroom with children’s coats hanging up to a gymnasium with three barricaded exits, the whole space laced with explosives and terrorists. The two performers are incredibly skilled and committed as they relive the days tragic happenings via a series of maths equations, the drawing of the floor plan of the school and their physical demonstration of the claustrophobic, warm conditions. There is no emotion in their take, as if they are telling a story of an event which happened to a friend or family member.
Unfortunately there was no happy ending on this occasion and the performance really highlights how the media presents the events, and how imagery is skewed to the outside world, making us question the truth. An incredible production brought to Edinbugh as part of the Big in Belgium season, which is a relevant, thought provoking and sinister must see this festival season.
Us/Them | Summerhall | 10am