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Blackbird (re:play - Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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I always enjoy covering the new plays in the Library Theatre’s re:play series and Blackbird is another good example.
Written and performed by talented Lucia Cox, it is a thought-provoking play about kidnap. It is said that the kidnapped latch on emotionally to their kidnappers and this is the case in this compact play lasting just an hour.
Sitting in her drab room which is effectively a cell, Cox paints a picture of the kidnapper and Blackbird, the girl under his spell. Both characters have well pronounced Southern accents but, more importantly, Cox captures their differences in realistic ways.
Her voice completely changes when she conveys Charlie who rescued her from drowning and now keeps her for himself.   In one sense, he is ruthless yet, in another, he, too, is a victim.
You find yourself sympathetic to Blackbird’s plight yet horrified at the same time. OK, he saved her life, but what right does he have to keep her in such conditions as virtually his sex slave? Why doesn’t she rebel?
Although Blackbird is a revelation of the psychology of human beings, it needs far more humour to give the depressing facts more impact. It also, leaves you puzzling about the captor’s identity and fate.

- Julia Taylor


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