“How could there be a meaning there?!”
The timing of an opening of a new show is everything: later this week I’m going to the Tricycle to see Then and Now, their Women and Politics multi-part extravaganza at a time when the new cabinet has fewer women than ever so it feels even more appropriate. Such immediate relevance can be a double-edged sword though as Like A Fishbone, the new play by Anthony Weigh opening at the Bush Theatre about the memorialisation of a school shooting, comes less than a week after the tragic events in West Cumbria and whilst not directly connected, there were moments when it felt really quite close to the bone.
Like A Fishbone takes its title from the Robert Lowell poem For the Union Dead referring to the memorial for the war dead in Boston as this play examines what is appropriate when it comes to dealing with the legacy of a tragic event. A leading architect has been commissioned to create a memorial for the victims of a terrible crime, all the children of a village murdered in their schoolhouse, and she is preparing to unveil her work to the public. When a blind woman somehow makes her way into the office where the model of the memorial is being kept ready for delivery, the scene is set for a confrontation between the two as it turns out she is the mother of one of the children who died in the attack. They then challenge each other about what constitutes a fitting monument to the dead, what it means to be a mother and the relative merits of clinging onto faith over the stark acceptance of the brutal truth. It’s heavy-hitting stuff, almost claustrophobic in its one room, real-time setting, but genuinely thrilling. Continue reading “Review: Like A Fishbone, Bush Theatre”