fringe round-up: Judith

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The Independent Culture
Howard Barker's assault course through imagined history stops off at the biblical legend of the Jewish widow who, on the eve of battle, seduces and then slaughters the Assyrian general Holofernes, liberates her people and is hailed a hero. With Barker, though, it's never so simple. Judith only kills Holofernes after being egged on by her comic ideologue servant and chaperone, after which the necessity of lies becomes plain and she becomes as much a tyrant - and philosopher - as the man she's slain. In between, there's a beautifully phrased dialogue on love and truth that lays bare the innards of their very souls. Barker's own production for the Wrestling School is as impeccably acted and as visually gorgeous as it is profound, exposing extremes of emotion while maintaining a rigorously intellectual relish for language. Yet another example of why the Wrestling School are the most important buildingless company in Britain.

n Traverse Theatre (venue 15). To 18 Aug