You don’t go to a Caryl Churchill play – you meet it halfway. You are not a passive audience waiting to be entertained, you are wrestling with three questions; what is this about, what does it mean and what do you think about it?
In Far Away, directed by Tamsin Fraser, three actors debate duplicity in three acts. Ostensibly, an aunt protects her niece from painful knowledge, while a boy courts a girl, all against a background of blood, hats and persecution.
Man’s inhumanity to man is the linking theme for Seven Jewish Children, a Greek chorus of women who take turns to warn a Jewish child of successive horrors from the gas chambers to the Six Day War.
Director Strat Mastoris chaired a postplay discussion: emerging reactions coalesced Churchill’s dramas as brilliantly conceived forums of minimalist dialogue upon which the audience could project their own truth.
With a bare stage and few props apart from short film clips, the actors needed particular skills to conjure up Churchill’s vision and enable us to understand the reality of the abstract.