|Braganca, Houlbrooke |
Photo: Carol Rosegg
Samira (Filipa Braganca), the present-day woman, wants to help build the Caliphate, but ends up married to a dominating, humorless, repressive man who already has a wife and finds his way around the rules of Islam. His first wife explains, "To get round the adultery laws, the fighters marry a woman for a week, then get a cleric to ‘divorce’ them. …He’s done it before.’"
Neither woman has a chance. The husbands are strong, violent men, and the woman are little more than slaves.
Echoes, written by written by Henry Naylor and directed by Naylor and Emma Buttler, is performed as alternating monologues. Despite being full of incident, the play never quite gels as theatre, and the politics are heavy-handed. Both husbands are one-dimensional creations; both women's situations come across as Women's Oppression 101 rather than the lived experiences of real individuals. Not to say that the stories aren't convincing, but they're not presented theatrically. The situations are effectively awful, but as lectures not a play.
(3rd row, press ticket)