THEATRE / Exile - Bush, London W12

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The Independent Culture
Detonating nightly just off Shepherd's Bush Green, David Ian Neville's powerful monologues trace the anguish of three people whose lives have been shattered by an IRA bomb. They exist in a tortured present, in exile from their past selves and forever seeking a peace that never comes. It is the absent Robert, a British soldier blown up at a Remembrance Day parade, who bears the physical scars of the blast, but his wife Gail, his father Peter, and Sandra, the girlfriend of the man who assembled the bomb, are no less crippled - they live with the emotional scars. Gail mourns the loss of the husband she loved; Peter, widowed and now looking after Robert, rages at a world that took away his job and his wife and searches for the son inside the broken skeleton of the man he cares for 24 hours a day; Sandra, who made tea and toast for her lover while he designed more efficient ways of death, seeks absolution for her sins of omission. Spoken directly to the audience, Neville's monologues evade the political - they could be about any act of terrorism anywhere in the world - concentrating instead on the personal tragedies behind the news headlines. The writing is sturdy, the performances fierce and tender. It would make memorable radio.

Ends Saturday (081-743 3388)