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Crocodile Seeking Refuge review at Clocktower Croydon

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Harriet is an asylum lawyer who’s dedication to her work begins to have a crippling effect on her marriage. The motives behind this piece of drama are exemplary, highlighting the injustices of immigration laws and the horrors of man’s injustice to man under violent regimes in other lands. Sonja Linden is evidently passionate about her work but there is a definite imbalance here between content and style. The play consists of so much awkward exposition that any real narrative is lost in an attempt to enlighten audiences to the plight of these people. The domestic story between the lawyer and her architect husband shows promise but the characters are far too two-dimensional to take seriously.

The performances make the best of a bad script with Emily Morgan making something of an impression as the harrassed but thorough lawyer, Harriet. Jasmina Daniel as Parvaneh adds a little class to the piece as a successful ex-Iranian and John Moraitis gains sympathy as a victim of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Set design by John Bausor is overly complex with too many visible scene changes taking too long between each scene, barely rescued by Richard Owen’s lighting.

Plays of this ilk are as common in the Fringe at the moment as Nazis in the West End and thankfully most of them manage to tell their tale mingling conflict with style to create thoughtful piece of drama. Author Linden could do worse than study a few and attempt to restructure this drama.

Production Information

Clocktower, Croydon, October 23-24, then touring until November 15

Author
Sonja Linden
Director
Sarah Esdaile
Producer
Sara Masters for Ice and Fire
Cast
Jasmina Daniel, Chris Jack, Claire Lubert, John Moraitis, Emily Morgan, Mark Powley and Faz Singhateh
Running time
2hrs 45mins

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