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The Towers of Babel (24:7 Theatre Festival - Manchester)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Originally a radio play, Nick Yardley's The Towers of Babel largely depends on the dialogue and the imagination of the audience to recreate the horror of 9/11.

The play has won the Octagon Theatre award for outstanding achievement in drama, and watching it, you can see why.

The Towers of Babel sensitively illustrates the relationship of Jewish father, Vince and his recalcitrant son, Justin, caught in a radio station beneath the twin towers on the fatal day. Two presenters, Bill and Baldy, cheerily report on matters of inconsequence on a seemingly ordinary sunny day in New York City.

Colin Connor, flowing-locked, plays the shallow and irreligious Baldy with charismatic charm. He cannot comprehend the conviction of wise old Vince still grieving for his late wife after cajoling him to broadcast.

The actor who stands out most, however, is undoubtedly Kenneth Alan Taylor as Vince. His perfectly timed monologue about events on that fateful day is gripping.

The contribution of Andy Smith and Adam Eastwood as sound and lighting designers helps to bring it all to life under the able direction of Olivier award-winner David Thacker, who sensitively stages one of the most difficult events of modern times.

- by Julia Taylor


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