Writer and director Jonathan Brown’s Of Our Own Making unfolds with thriller-like swiftness. It follows a group of refugees from Egypt to Greece to Calais and beyond, throwing in a whirlwind romance and piecing together a high stakes, high-drama storyline about radicalisation for good measure.
What’s most impressive about it is its cinematic scope. Through scene after short scene, it traverses Europe, slipping from a sinking ship in the Mediterranean, to an interrogation cell in London, to a climactic car chase through the streets of Rome. The plot races along, full of foreshadowing and flashbacks – including a particularly harrowing one about Isis’ takeover of Mosul.
It’s over-stuffed, actually, to the point of incredulity. A cub reporter on a tabloid falls deeply and passionately in love with an Iraqi refugee, then agrees to smuggle him into Britain. Two undercover Isis fighters happen to be good mates, each unaware of the other’s intentions. All the pieces slot together, but less would undoubtedly be more.
Except in Brown’s staging that is, where more would be more. Of Our Own Making is performed economically in front of a series of white sheets strung up like a washing line, which doesn’t give the audience a lot to look at and makes the production feel static and flat.
The performances, too, are a bit one-note, although Vincent Kerschbaum is endearingly earnest as the shadowy Saif and Brown himself multi-roles capably. Ultimately this is an underpowered staging of what is an engrossing, if overblown, play.