Review: But I cld only whisper

Written for The Stage

A popular contemporary subject, combat stress has never been placed so clearly within a societal context as in Kristiana Colon’s moving play but I cd only whisper.

It’s the 1970s and black veteran Beau Willie Brown returns from Vietnam haunted and brutal. As he is questioned over a troubling crime, Colon explores racial tensions, domestic abuse and combat trauma through the story of a man who has been fighting all his life.

Colon gives voice to each side of Beau’s broken persona – the abused mother of his children, his bullish commanding officer, the friend who could have easily done it too and his spoilt white mistress. She interlaces them, providing a cacophony of explanations in a poetic piece of social commentary.

Nadia Latif’s staging and Imogen Knight’s choreography mirror Colon’s lyricism, with characters physically weaving in and out of the action, just as their stories come in and out of Beau’s head. Wendy Short’s projections evoke the feeling of a country and a man on the brink of explosion.

Adetomiwa Edun’s Beau is a cracked prism full of flaws and broken dreams. As Crystal, the woman he beats, Emanuella Cole gives a raw and compelling performance that ignites uncomfortable feelings of voyeurism even as it is impossible to look away.

Runs until 1st December. For more information go here.

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