Performing Arts

Theatre Review: Bone Cage

Corinna de Niro has developed this old theatre-in-education piece into a vibrant modern production

Director and researcher Corinna Di Niro believes in the power of theatre to shape and create community. She has previously revived Geoff Gilham’s play Bone Cage, originally written as a Theatre-in-Education piece. First performed at a conference last year, Di Niro has recently presented it at Provocation #3 at The Lab in Light Square.

As the audience comes into the room, a man stands, harnessed to a large, rickety cage. A pile of rags sits at the bottom. The back screens show post-apocalyptic images. Eventually the man pulls the cage to the middle of the room. the pile of rags begins to move, and a woman crawls out from under them. Then begins dialogue between her and the man. Once the man falls asleep, another woman appears, seemingly from nowhere, and tries to help the caged woman.

In the 30 minutes in which the action takes place, actors Georgia Laity, Robert Donnarumma and Suzanne Bleeze, present an intense and engaging work, with full commitment. Donnarumma is suitably threatening, yet brings nuances of emotion that moves his character away from mere trope.

Bone Cage is written, and produced, as a piece to spark discussion and thought. It sits well within a conference setting such as this, but also for school productions and workshops of varied content. With growing understanding of family violence, and in particular of its effects on those who witness it, this is a timely and important piece of work.

This new iteration of the production makes great use of audio-visual media. An otherwise annoying pillar in the venue becomes a camp fire. The sound of war planes overhead is horrifyingly real. Andrei Gostin and Phil van Hout have done an outstanding job of adding richness to the work, without detracting from the script or performance.

Bone Cage is a highly portable production, and is available for educational institutions, workshops, and community centres. It is suitable for older children.

For further information contact Corinna Di Niro [email protected]

4 Rich, dark and thought-provoking

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