Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Date: Jan 28 – Feb 15 Feb 2003

Director: Lu Kemp


Miloš – Damien Goodwin

Shota – Helen Coker

Marko – Philip Ralph

Handley – Daniele Lydon

**** The Guardian
"Chris Dunkley's play takes place in a fly-blown rural bar in the early days of the Balkan conflict. I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but Lu Kemp's production does seem to have a specifically oppressive, east-European feel. Perhaps this is something to do with the sticky linoleum, the ennui hanging in the air like stale alcohol and the accumulating pile of dead pigs in the corner.

Although the Balkan conflict did not centre on a clearly defined theatre of war, it had a passionately active fringe: and here the barrage of offstage fire comes from a husband and wife feuding over a drinks machine.

Their son, Marko, has had his nose shot to pieces in the crossfire, and now spends his time trying to fix the focus of conflict so that it will dispense a can of Coke. It is this random mixture of absurdity and violence that makes Dunkley's play so believable.

Dunkley introduces the figure of a traumatised western journalist (convincingly played by Daniele Lydon) to play abusive mind-games with the inhabitants of the bar. Philip Ralph is outstanding as Marko, but the magnificent Damien Goodwin dominates as the drunk, deranged and palpably unpleasant Milos. His bleary waltz with a dead pig to the Beatles' Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite has to be seen to be believed. Or disbelieved, as the case may be." Alfred Hickling