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Thebes Land - Arcola Theatre (Review)

Review by Shanna Schreuder

THEBES Land succeeds at blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality by making you part of the show without forcing any awkward participation besides asking you to question what’s really true when examining the story of a convicted patricide.

The criminal in question is Martin, who is serving a life sentence for killing his father, and the man laying out his tale is actor and playwright T (Trevor White).

Through a number of interviews and re-enactments, with the help of RADA student Freddie (Alex Austin), this gruesome crime is laid bare in a radical manner.

Although, the dialogue is modern, there are a number of quotes and verses from classical writers and philosophers to help understand Martin’s case. To say anymore about what happens on stage wouldn’t necessarily strip Thebes Land of its genius, but it could deplete it of its magic – so it’s best to leave the explanation to the performers.

Whilst the current production is an adaptation by director Daniel Goldman of an original work by Franco-Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco, none of its authenticity is lost as it uses people and place within the UK.

The two actors in the production, Trevor White and Alex Austin, are totally absorbing, especially when Martin is not on stage, as you get a deeper understanding of what the show is trying to achieve.

In short, Thebes Land is a thoroughly gripping and powerful piece of theatre that’ll confuse, delight and move you.

View production photos

Thebes Land, which runs at The Arcola Theatre until December 23, 2016, is recommended for ages 14+.

NB: Thebes Land is presented with the consent of all parties and in accordance with Home Office regulations. It will be staged inside a large protective cage.

To book tickets, visit the Arcola website.