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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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A powerful new drama set back home in America in the aftermath of Guantanamo Bay is an unlikely discovery among the coloured lights and hubbub of the Underbelly pleasure dome in Bristo Square.

Chinese/American playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig won the Yale Drama Series award for this, her first play; it is presented in a white Perspex box with two dozen punters crammed onto fold-up picnic stools round the periphery.

Steven Atkinson’s strongly cast production flashes back to the brutalising encounter between Penny Layden’s American soldier, Alice, and Antony Bunsee’s abused, now dying, Muslim detainee.

The incident flares up like a time bomb in Alice’s home town flower shop, threatening the fragile, asthmatic condition of her daughter, and unsettling her ex-junkie husband.

A legacy of institutionalised political violence has some unexpected sexual twists, the orgasm of torture mixed in with unwelcome personal discoveries. Could be a very hot ticket, especially with so few seats; how dumb is that?


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