Borderline, at the Lion and Unicorn

What is witness?

Well, witnessing something means seeing it.

Just that, just seeing it?

Well, I suppose it means seeing it in a special way.

Word association time – I say “witness” you say . . .

“Testimony”

Good – “testimony”. So here’s what I’m getting at. Witnessing something isn’t just seeing. It’s seeing something that changes you; seeing something that makes you behave differently in future –

Seeing something that makes you testify?

Exactly! Whether you’re testifying in court that you witnessed a crime, or testifying in church that you witnessed some divine glory, witness causes testimony. To witness something is not just to see it, it’s to be changed by it.

*

Although the words “witness” and “testimony” don’t appear in Borderline, the concepts are woven right through it.

This is a play about people who are changed by what they have experienced, inviting you to share their experiences and be changed in turn.

The cast puts in remarkable performances representing a range of characters and experiences. The emotional intensity hits from the very beginning and doesn’t let up.

The play is structurally superb too – that much emotion could easily become overwhelming is it wasn’t leavened with moments of humour and, more surprisingly, a few vignettes which serve as much as mysteries or intellectual puzzles as emotional revelations.

I suppose in a way this isn’t a very good review – the play is lean and taught and the few moments I thought where miss-steps later turned out to be integral parts of the structure – experiences I was reaching back for in some of the later vignettes. There are no obvious gaps, nothing that really needs tweaking. Perhaps, in a way, that a sign of the genius of this play – it’s so “whole” and universal that even miss-steps or mistakes somehow enrich it and thus disappear.

So if this isn’t a very good review, hopefully it serves better as a recommendation – go and see this play – witness it, and see if you’re not moved to your own testimony.

http://lionandunicorntheatre.co.uk/borderline-2/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s