Review: Talk Talk Fight Fight

Part of The Bomb: A Partial History – Second Blast season at the Tricycle Theatre


“We need to find a wrecking ball”

Ryan Craig’s Talk Talk Fight Fight emerged as one of the better pieces of the second part of the Tricycle’s The Bomb – a partial history for me. An intelligent look at life in the negotiations rooms at the United Nations as an EU delegation prepare to try and consult on nuclear non-proliferation with an Iran who are being less than upfront about their nuclear development. Their determination to remain reasonable and diplomatic is then challenged with the arrival of a brash CIA agent with an Iranian nuclear scientist in tow, but whose reliability is questioned in different ways by different people.

Craig captures perfectly the frustrations of bureaucrats and activists having to dance around the obfuscations of the Iranians, deflect the determination of some to make a case for war, and all the time ensure they are observing international law down to the very last clause. Shereen Martin and Daniel Rabin excel here as two workers each passionately devoted to the cause, as does Belinda Lang who was almost unrecognisable as a Baroness Ashton (of UpHolland, the village of my birth doncha know)-like figure who has to skip from meeting to meeting, from nuclear disarmament to trade debates about fish at the drop of a hat.

Set against these is the initial interrogation of the Iranian scientist by David Yip’s CIA agent and these scenes are cleverly woven in as he gives his account of what is actually happening in Iran as he tries to secure his own safety: Paul Bhattacharjee continuing an excellent run of form in so many of these plays.

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