The Events

Written by David Greig
Directed by Ramin Gray
The Liverpool Everyman
8th April - 12th April 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This play is written for two characters and a choir, with the composition of the choir changing every night. The choir on the night I attended was Up For The Arts, an offspring from the acclaimed Liverpool-based Sense Of Sound.

But instead of adding extra dimensions , 'a soaring soundtrack' as promised in the promotional material for the production, I found the massed ranks of people overbearing and difficult to empathise with in the context of a story concerning the 'evil' deeds of Anders Breivik at a summer camp in Norway in summer 2011, when he killed over forty young people.

Premiered at the Edinburgh Festival last year, the play attempts to look into the mind of the perpetrator through the personas of Clifford Samuel as The Boy and Amanda Drew (who excelled in a performance in 2012 at the Playhouse in A Streetcar Named Desire) as choir leader Claire.

Was Breivik a psychopath? A racist? A fascist? All these questions are mulled upon throughout the ninety minutes on stage.

Claire is a survivor from the carnage, she being the spared one when The Boy cum Breivik walked into a room in which they were seeking shelter from him with one bullet remaining in his gun, and said to both of them "Who should I shoot' with both saying in unison "me".

I got confused with the multi-layered character of The Boy. At one time he is Breivik, another time Claire's partner, a member of Breivik's family or a psychologist.

This puzzlement on my part encapsulated the disjointed structure of the play as a whole.

Perhaps I was not the only one not to fully grasp the points that were being attempted to be made about the massacre, with certain members of the audience guffawing at wholly inappropriate moments during the play. Never imagined that being murdered by a nail bomb was comical.

I left the Everyman no more enlightened about the mass killings or its origins.

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