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Tricycle Investigates Detainee Torture in Mousa

The British Army will be put on trial for its treatment of detainees in Iraq in the latest instalment of the Tricycle Theatre’s renowned Tribunal Plays, verbatim reconstructions of public inquiries. Tactical Questioning: Scenes From the Baha Mousa Inquiry, based on oral hearings completed last October, will receive its world premiere on 6 June 2011 (previews from 2 June) at the Tricycle, where it runs until 2 July.

The piece – edited by Richard Norton-Taylor and directed by Tricycle artistic director Nicolas Kent – is the ninth in the Tricycle Tribunal Plays series and the first new one since the 2007 premiere which put the former Prime Minister in the dock, Called to Account: The Indictment of Anthony Charles Blair for the Crime of Aggression Against Iraq.

On 14 September 2003, at the Haitham Hotel in Basra, Iraq, Baha Mousa and nine others were arrested by the British Army as suspected insurgents. Two days later Baha Mousa was dead. A post-mortem examination revealed that he had suffered from asphyxiation and had received at least 93 injuries while in custody. In 2008 the Secretary of State for Defence announced a public inquiry into Baha Mousa’s death and the treatment of those detained with him.

Tactical Questioning: Scenes From the Baha Mousa Inquiry brings together scenes from the public inquiry which examined the events that took place over those two days of detention and the British Army’s treatment of detainees. The Tricycle’s production is staged following the oral hearings completed in 2010 and before Sir William Gage publishes his final report and recommendations this summer.

In addition to Called to Account, Nicolas Kent’s recent Tricycle directing credits include The Great Game: Afghanistan trilogy which premiered in 2009, returned and toured in 2010 and, earlier this year, was commissioned for two special performances at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

Kent has directed all of the Tribunal plays to date, many of them edited by Guardian social affairs editor Richard Norton-Taylor. The Tribunal plays started in 1994 with Half the Picture (based on the Scott Arms to Iraq Inquiry) and continued with Nuremberg, Srebrenica – the UN Rule 61 Hearings, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry - The Colour of Justice, Justifying War – Scenes from the Hutton Inquiry, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry and, most recently, Called to Account.


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