Patriotism, anarchy, hopelessness - a combination of emotions enjoyed and suffered by persecutors and the persecuted comes vividly to life in David Rintoul’s production of David Greig’s Europe.
This piece is a major contrast to the author’s other works staged at Dundee - the zany Ubu the King and the highly-charged Dr Korczak’s Example - and proves a little fragmented as the action flits from pub to railway station, sometimes with simultaneous conversations.
Nevertheless, it is a compelling watch, and Colin Richmond’s design ensures a smooth transition between scenes. Ian Scott’s lighting, Emma Laxton’s soundscape and projections by Mick McNicholas, combine to complete a technical triumph
The scenic accessories hang from a gantry and are slid along efficiently by the cast, while a projector flashes chapter titles and atmospheric lights as trains rumble - very loudly to symbolise the juggernaut of progress - through the disused station.
Not so loud are some of the spoken words and Europe may well fit better in smaller surrounds.
Dundee Rep’s ensemble member Robert Paterson is excellent as the station master, trying to maintain some authority while the world as he knows it crashes into the buffers. Good support, too, comes from Samantha Young as his idealistic daughter. Johannes Flaschberger and Michelle Bonnard each give a powerful interpretation as father and daughter refugees, their understated performances underlining their despair.
Chris Ryman is the confident Morocco, the wheeler-dealer, while Joseph Kennedy, Cameron Mowat and Graeme Rooney are suitably gung-ho as the angry young men.