THE FEVER CHART: Naomi Wallace.
Lakeside Arts Centre: Tkts 0115 846 7777 www.lakesidearts.org.uk
Touring Details: INFO@PILOT-THEATRE.COM
Runs: 1h 15m: no interval.
Review: Alan Geary: 19 November 2009.
Enigmatic and engaging.
It’s never made particularly obvious why The Fever Chart is so named. Billed as a play by Naomi Wallace, it’s not so much a single unified piece as three stand-alone playlets, originally commissioned and produced separately but united by common themes and preoccupations. In fact the last, Vision Three, is more of a monologue since it purports to be a one-man talk delivered to a Pigeon Convention – pigeons also get a mention in the first piece.
The whole package is set in various locations in the Middle East and is concerned with the conflicts there. But we’re invited to see these conflicts from the perspectives of individual human-beings, male and female, Arab and Jewish.
Vision One: A State of Innocence is set in a zoo in Gaza and involves an American Jewish keeper, a Russian Jewish architect and a Palestinian woman. Vision Two: Between This Breath And You, perhaps the most compelling, happens in a private clinic in West Jerusalem, where a Mr Kamal has shown up to see a nurse called Tanya. Vision Three: The Retreating World is set in Baghdad between the First and Second Gulf Wars.
Lisa Came, Daniel Rabin and Raad Rawi all deliver excellent performances.
This might be the least straightforward Pilot Theatre offering to come to Nottingham for years. There’s not a lot of obviously chronological plotting anywhere to be had and it’s done on an oddly elusive set, perhaps suggestive of ruins. Directed by Marcus Romer and Katie Posner, it makes engaging theatre all the same.
Um-Hisham/Tanya: Lisa Came.
Yuval/Sami/Ali: Daniel Rabin.
Shlomo/Mourid: Raad Rawi.
Directors: Marcus Romer, Katie Posner.
Designer: Catherine Chapman.
Lighting: Matt Savage