Edinburgh festival Day 16: Reviews: Crossfire

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The Independent Culture
Paines Plough Theatre Company is the most vigorous promoter of new writing in British theatre, and it is to be expected that it should take risks and sometimes fail. All the same, it is hard to fathom how it ended up promoting such an empty and poorly made piece of new writing as this. It looks like political bandwagoning of the worst kind. Crossfire is a series of cliched sketches about the horrors of war, set in a nameless besieged city. Lovers and blood brothers shoot each other with baleful eyes and exclamations such as, 'It's not me. It's the war.' Neither the character narratives nor the documentary realism carry interest, and any tragic impact is dissolved by two magic realist ghosts who welcome their corpses into an attractive limbo when they die. The actors don't stand a chance.

Traverse (venue 15), Cambridge St (031-228 1404). 12.0-2.15pm 31 Aug, 3 Sept; 3.30-5.45pm 1, 4 Sept; 7.0-9.15pm, 2 Sept

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