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Strange Lands

Published Thursday 9 June 2005 at 15:20 by Paul Vale

Philip Goulding’s play centres on the stories of three displaced individuals from different parts of the world and the stories that make up the sad tale of their deaths.

The refugee Mila is trying to find her family among the horrors of war. Tom is a war veteran searching the US for his missing wife and child and Helen is an alcoholic destined to wander the streets of a seaside town, unwanted and unloved. This highly charged, emotional play examines their plight and observes the media response to the stories their eventual deaths reveal.

This is very much an ensemble piece with a cast of 20 actors on the intimate Courtyard stage, which develops into a montage of three very different stories. The performances of the three protagonists are brilliantly conceived and emotions kept to their barest to perhaps epitomise the apathy of an uncaring world to their plight.

Babita Pohoomull excels in her spiritually-draining role as the refugee Mila. Raped, beaten and abandoned, Pohoomull wisely underplays any real emotions until her final harrowing scene before her militant captors. Nick Nevern as Tom sizzles with unspoken fears, unable to let his guard down even for a moment. Esther Luca offers perhaps the most vivid performance as the as the alcoholic Helen, set adrift in a wash of apathy with no recourse.

June Abbot’s brave direction, coupled with Simon Gill’s bleak yet extremely functional design ensures that not a moment is wasted and not a single actor is extraneous to the whole.

Production information

Courtyard Theatre, London, June 1-26

Philip Goulding
June Abbot
N1 Theatre Company
Cast includes:
Babita Pohoomull, Nick Nevern, Esther Luca, Sascha Cooper, Rachel Permutt
Running time:
1hr 30mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014