Review: Gibraltar, Arcola ✭✭

Based on the controversial SAS shootings of an IRA cell in Gibraltar in 1988, Alastair Brett and Sian Evans’ new play attempts to take a fresh look at what happened, but fails to stimulate interest in a flaccid staging by director James Robert Carson.

Greer Dale-Foulkes plays Amelia, an inexperienced but determined television reporter, and George Irving plays cynical hack Nick. By following their different approaches – headline grabbing versus investigative journalism – the play attempts to ‘find the facts’.

The facts are as follows: the ‘Gibraltar Three’ were members of an IRA cell plotting to detonate a car-bomb near the governor’s residence at the changing of the guard just months after the Enniskillen atrocity.

Karina Fernandez gives a strong, humorous performance as eyewitness Rosa

The lack of emotional engagement one can have with this piece is crippling. Unfortunately, neither Dale-Foulkes nor Irving have characters that the audience can identify with, and the faltering performances do nothing to help. Karina Fernandez gives a strong, humorous performance as eyewitness Rosa, though she can do little to bring colour to a flat script.

Although thoroughly researched, this shifts uncomfortably between verbatim drama and fiction. The writing is declamatory, at times unclear, and the limited dialogue is stilted. There is clear potential in the subject matter, but Carson’s lifeless production will doubtless leave you feeling the whole thing was an exercise in futility.

** (2 stars)
Runs until April 20
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