Bystanders review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘stirring piece of theatre’
Every year, St Martin in the Fields holds a memorial service to commemorate the deaths of homeless people in London in the previous year.
There were 165 names on last year’s list and as if to bring the statistic into focus, the Bureau of Investigation published a document highlighting a lack of reporting on the deaths of homeless people.
With Bystanders, Cardboard Citizens does not just piece together a few of the stories, they explore how a broken system manages to overlook so many of the tragedies.
Writer Adrian Jackson combines physical and verbatim theatre to tell a selection of individual stories.
From an ex-boxer, forcibly exiled for 13 years having suffered a nervous breakdown at the end of his career to Pericles, left to freeze to death outside a police station because the duty officer was watching Dirty Dancing on DVD.
What the piece may lack in theatrical polish it more than makes up for in political and emotional rhetoric, reminding us that every citizen has a duty of responsibility to each other.
Bystanders is a stirring piece of theatre that questions whether or not the state has abandoned the ethics of democracy in favour of lip-service to a system of forgotten ideals.
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