Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Deep Cut" - Edinburgh Fringe 2008

As the winner of both a Fringe First and a Herald Angel at this year's Fringe, I was lucky to grab one of the few remaining tickets for "Deep Cut" at the Traverse. The run has now completely sold out, and deservedly so. Sherman Cymru and Philip Ralph have put together an impressive tale told from the viewpoint of Private Cheryl James' parents.
As a visitor to the James' house the audience are pulled into the tale as Des James (Ciaran McIntyre) talks about his daughter, her death and their quest for answers as to how or why she died.

The play highlights some of the inconsistencies and failings of the investigation into Cheryl's death, and the other 3 soldiers (Privates Sean Benton, Geoff Gray and James Collinson). Although no conclusion as to the cause of the deaths is come to - you are left questioning the events and witnessing the frustration of Des and his wife, Doreen (Rhian Morgan) at the lack of answers. The James' don't know if she committed suicide (the inquest verdict was open), but they are prepared to accept that it is a possibility. What they are continuing to fight and campaign for is a proper public inquiry that can look at all the evidence into their daughter's death. If it was suicide were there systemic failings at the barracks, if it wasn't then who was responsible?

The James' story is intercut with additional information about Deep Cut brought to us by Jonesy (Rhian Blythe) one of Cheryl's contempories and the other figures that have featured into the investigation into the deaths by the media, the police, the military and the Blake enquiry (Simon Molloy, Robert Bowman, Frank Blythe).

A well written and performed piece that makes you feel slightly guilty for enjoying a drama based on real tragic events.

The script book is well worth picking up - it's more like an academic text than a script; giving you sources and information beyond what you see on stage.

Photo used with permission.

Deep Cut continues at The Traverse until 24 August - the run has sold out.