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Outside (Bristol)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Albert Camus’ L’Etranger provides the existentialist anchor for Simon Harvey Williams and Phil John’s Outside. But put your A’ Level Philosophy aside and let yourself slink into this review of the human condition.

David’s “different”. His girlfriend is “stunning”. And then his brother dies in 9/11. He pals up with his brother’s obnoxious chum, Raymond - who smacks his girlfriend about - and there’s a confrontation with the beaten girl’s brother and friends.

This adaptation makes a fascinating play. Although occasional lines of philosophy feel a little awkward, the characters’ inner and outer dilemmas leave you with some rather dank conclusions about the human soul.

Making Camus entertaining is a mighty challenge: the cast rises to it well. Oliver Millingham’s appalling Raymond is sharp and occasionally breath-taking. Kirsten Foster‘s Shanaz is a joy, credible on every level. Adam Fuller as David has a tough job: eliciting audience sympathy when your character doesn’t care much about anything is Herculean. Sarah Winter‘s Marie - David’s girlfriend - needs more to work with than just her “stunning” moniker - but that’s the Camus talking. Elliot Chapman plays a number of roles, most fun of which is his justice-blind barrister.

Emel Yilmaz directs a stimulating piece with potential to pose greater challenges than it does thus far. In these days of post-9/11 hand-wringing, this is a thoughtful look at the parts we play in one another’s lives.


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