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Tender Napalm (Tour - Newcastle)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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I’m not sure I understood it, but I loved it. Possibly one of the most challenging, raw, pulsating, energetic, violent and poetic evenings spent in the theatre. The (I think) premise is war? Well fighting I guess, between a man and a woman, sparring, playing, toying with each other. Their relationship playful, living a healthy life style, drinking water- the life force that surrounds their ‘dreams’. A seemingly committed couple who’s lust for life is matched by a lust for each other, described in graphic sexual language that had the audience twitching in their seats as the squirmed as the character’s told each other what and how they would insert, castrate and hurt. All metaphors for war. How we take this world with the power of nature, beauty in the rocks and caves, the sky and other worlds that fill the heavens and then we destroy it, much like the perfect relationship. So do they stay together, or continue to destroy it and each other?

There are some wonderful moments in this play although I did feel that the male character was over written, leaving the female character floundering at times.

The two performances are spectacular and as hard as the audience applauded, there was no curtain call. Lara Rossi moves around the stage with cat like precision, her performance beautifully judged, while Tom Byam Shaw plays at such a pace; with such passion, energy and control that I was exhausted just watching him. The play is in Traverse, and that is what works with this play, because we are forced to confront each other as audience members, questioning each other, ourselves and how we will treat each other in our lives. Before we utterly destroy each other.


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