Written and Directed by Mai Ghoussoub
Unity Theatre
11th July 2006

Reviewed by Helen Grey

Texterminators is as a curious performance that mixes dance, drama and digital images to produce a somewhat unusual piece of theatre. The set comprises of a large projection screen at the back of the stage, which shows very old photos of people dressed in period costumes, and a hanging lamp. Periodically The Storyteller – performed by Mai Ghoussoub – stands under the subtle glow of the lamp and begins to tell the story of Bullet and his companions, who are all played by females. Bullet (Ana Belén Serrano) and his cohorts (Tania El-Khoury and Itzel Mayoral) travel through cities that have been torn apart by civil war and take refuge in abandoned houses. After The Storyteller has read another chapter, the three actors/dancers represent what is happening through impressive choreography.

The play examines the power of the written word and the effects that books can have on the mind. It asks whether literature can alter a person’s behaviour or if social circumstances are responsible for shaping a person’s character. Through Bullet and his companions, the play asks the audience to consider the age old question of ‘nature or nurture?’ in an unconventional way.

The dance pieces were interesting and tightly performed, while the dramatic use of lighting and music added to the tense and slightly claustrophobic atmosphere. At first I thought the play’s message was confused and unclear, but on reflection Texterminators was a different and not unpleasant experience.

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