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Friday, 26 September 2014

REVIEW: Shoot, I didn't mean that/The Last Days of Mankind at The Tristan Bates theatre

The Tristan Bates theatre has opened its autumn season with a double-bill of plays that echo each other with stories going from after World War I to today.  These are Shoot, I didn’t mean that by Catriona Kerridge and The Last Days of Mankind: The Last Night by the Austrian Karl Kraus. What originally inspired this production is Time Zone Theatre and Austrian director Pamela Schermann, who invited British playwrights to respond to Kraus’s The Last Days of Mankind and is now presenting the winning playwright’s work. The result is tense and controversial.

Shoot, I didn’t mean that presents us with four very different girls and women who are in some way connected to the cynicism behind wars and politics. 

Firstly, two schoolgirls are struggling to stay still during two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day. “I really want to see War Horse”, one of them says. We ask ourselves: is that really all she can associate with World War I? And is it her fault, actually? Later, she and her friend plan to travel to Syria, or Iran, or Irak ("same thing") in order to witness something big. While they are used to watching war zones on the news, they don't realise that these do not represent the entire geographic area. 
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