Saturday, March 21, 2009

An evening with two

My sister invited me to go watch a Unifaun Theatre play yesterday at the St James Cavalier Centre. Unifaun have featured in the news lately for challenging the absurd censorship of a Nielson play by the local Censorship Board. I have been wanting to go watch Frost/Nixon at the cinema, based on the interview that Frost made with Nixon on the Watergate scandal but have not had the time so far. Like the film, the play I went to watch - The Devil's Advocate - by Donald Freed also deals with the conversation between two people.

The military dictator Manuel Noriega seeks refuge at the Apostolic Nuncio. He and the Vatican's Archbishop Jose Sebastian Laboa partake in a game of accusations that gives us an insight into the relations between the US of A and Latin America. The tension in the play is throughout, with hardly any respite. I don't know if, in effect, it is a failing of the script or in the way it was directed, but there were times I wanted out. Actors Manuel Cauchi and Paul Portelli gave a most powerful performance. My favourite scene where the archbishop prays for Noriega while Noriega danced in a trance titillated me, but I still felt it could have been even stronger had the lights been more dramatic.

Devil's Advocate is on at St James on today, 21, 21, 27, 28, 29 March. Tickets from St James Cav.

Just before the play, we managed to catch a glimpse of Robert Zahra's exhibition of drawings, paintings and photos of city spaces. A strong line, stripped to its raw form, frequently dark and just as compelling. "Mkejjen" is on at St James until 03 May.

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