1980s >> 1986 >> no-984-august-1986

Theatre Review: Open heart surgery

What would it be like to be black, in the British army, accused of shooting your commanding officer while serving in Northern Ireland and left at the mercy of a sadistic bigot of a sergeant for a gaoler, an upper-class twit of a defence lawyer, and a guilt ridden psychiatrist, as you await the prospect of the court martial?
A new play by Les Smith — Some Kind of Hero — will tell you. This is not satire. I would not demean it by calling it that. No glib leftish parodies here or amusing latex puppets to render the subject matter palatable to a bourgeois audience. The play is witty and amusing yes. but not at the expense of an intimate, head-on treatment of the subject. It is open heart surgery on institutionalised racism and it had the audience on a scalpel edge. If you think theatre should be about more than just entertainment, this play is for you.
Harvey Harwood