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To: Saturday, 5 June 2010
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In a small mining town deep in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country ravaged by the world’s deadliest civil war, Mama Nadi is forced to reassess her business priorities and personal loyalties as the realities of life in war provide the ultimate test for the human spirit. Ruined was the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Michael Coveney - 23 April 2010
War, rape and pillage form the background to American playwright Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined, a rumble in the jungle which is set in a bar brothel near a small mining town in the Congo.
Mama Nadi (Jenny Jules) has a business to run and ten girls to feed; we meet three of them, one on the run from her husband, who have gravitated here as both refugees and sex workers. The clientele includes a travelling salesman, Christian (Lucian Msamati), who has a special relationship developing with Mama, a Lebanese diamond merchant (Silas Carson) and various militia men and rebel soldiers.
It’s a tinder-box situation, kept simmering with infectious onstage music played by Joseph Roberts and Akintayo Akinbode, and one that has resulted from years of genocide and exploitation. Nottage, who researched the play by visiting the tragic district and talking to many local people, creates a vivid and depressing picture of a hell-hole where the militia...
Latest User Review
David Baxter - 2 June 2010:
Ruined has been compared to Mother Courage but as I avoid Brecht the nearest point of reference I have is The Overwhelming which was a remarkable play about Rwanda at the National. Ruined concerns a group of women trying to maintain a bar / brothel in the midst of the Congo civil war. It is not as good as The Overwhelming but does provide a remarkably atmospheric experience thanks to excellent set, sound and lighting. I will probably remember it most for an unexpectedly happy ending and a superb central peerformance from Jenny Jules as Mama, apparently heartless but ultimately sensitive and vulnerable....