Camden Fringe 2013
Damien Tracey and Rare Moustache theatre and the Scéalta Móra theatre company bring Warde Street, their tale of race, religion, politics and terrorism to the Camden Fringe, in an entertaining and engaging piece that challenges the fears and prejudices that haunt 21st Century, multi-cultural Britain.
Cameron Harris plays MP David, who is not only questioned in the House, but also in the media, as he faces not just the public’s disapproval at his inter-racial affair, but the impending murder trial of his partner’s brother.
Sam, played by a sultry, frustrated Avita Jay is growing tired of being branded as the other woman and of being kept behind closed doors for the benefit of David’s journey along the road to power, their love hampered by selfishness and deeply-submerged prejudice.
Their middle-class world is cleaved apart by the arrival of Asian/Mancunian Ash, played with more depth and emotion than the Halle orchestra by the brilliant Omar Ibrahim, a shopkeeper who is awaiting trial for the shooting of a man who, in turn, had shot and killed Ash’s wife.
Ash, his two children now in care, has travelled to London to confront David over his decision to withdraw the offer of a character reference for the forthcoming trial. David is forced to choose between personal and professional duty.
The second half of the play sees Tracey’s writing skills gather both pace and potency. There is a powerhouse performance of mental collapse from Shane Noone playing Eddie, a man destroyed by the loss of his wife in the London 7/7 bombings, who returns to confront his old friend Ash, seeking answers but finding nothing but confusion.
Both Ash and his wife, Yas played by the talented Ruby Visaria; simple people living a simple life, find themselves thrown violently in to the maelstrom of religious generalisation. Is religion inherently bad? Does it define who we are? These powerful issues are ripped from the heart of the script and brutally moulded by the masterful hands of Jason Moore, a director who deserves to be seen working on much larger projects than the restrictions the Tristan Bates allows.
The production has a simple, yet effective set that never detracts from the drama. Whilst the two halves of the piece link up successfully, any denouement is lost as a little too much is given away, a little too soon.
Warde Street is a worthy play that deserves to be experienced for some time to come.