"Real Human Being" / "Parallel Lines"
I’ve had a couple of contrasting but equally intriguing theatrical experiences over the past couple of days.
First up was “Real Human Being”, from Taking Flight Theatre Company which specialises in inclusive theatre. Written by Matthew Bulgo, this is a play intended to raise awareness of disability hate crime. Designed to be presented as part of a day-long programme of workshops etc. in secondary schools, it was but shown in concentrated form to interested parties at Cardiff’s Llanover Hall Arts Centre. Cleverly done and, frankly, quite stressful.
|"Parallel Lines" (photo by Kirsten McTernan)|
The following evening saw a revival of the award-winning “Parallel Lines” from Dirty Protest at Chapter. I was initially reluctant to review it again, having seen it on its initial run two years ago, but it turns out to have been radically reconceptualised by director Catherine Paskell and writer Katherine Chandler, for a Welsh tour. Centring on an accusation of sexual misconduct made by a bright female pupil against a male teacher, it is more of a lament about adult failings in general than a “torn from the headlines” drama. The new, stripped down aesthetic is bold, with the witty script and powerful performances combining to mitigate the play’s pessimism.