Us / Them
By Carly Wijs. BRONKS
Presented by Adelaide Festival
THEATRE / BELGIUM
Australian Premiere / Exclusive to Adelaide
In September 2004 a group of terrorists stormed a school in Beslan, Russia taking hundreds of children hostage. The ensuing siege lasted three days and left many dead. A brutalising, relentlessly grim night at the theatre? Not quite. Us/Them is not a straightforward account of this terrible tragedy, but an exploration of the entirely individual way children cope with traumatic situations. With humour and pragmatism, this extraordinary piece performed in English by two actors from the Brussels-based art house for younger audiences, BRONKS, tells the story entirely through the clear, young eyes of a girl and a boy who were on the inside.
There’s no histrionics, and while the cats-cradle of tripwires in the playground-like space evokes the precariousness of their situation, the events are recalled with the matter-of-fact seriousness of kids explaining the rules of a game. Their innocence in the face of adult atrocity, and the intertwining of tragedy and comedy is powerfully moving, frequently heart-breaking and wholly original.
This exclusive Adelaide season follows a sell-out season at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, winning The Scotsman Fringe First Award and a sell-out 2017 season at London’s National Theatre.
★★★★★ Outstanding The Stage UK
Startling. Remarkable. Playful as well as moving. The Guardian
Phenomenal. You must go and see this show. Now. Broadway Baby UK
Produced by BRONKS and Richard Jordan Productions. Co-producers: Theatre Royal Plymouth and Big in Belgium. In association with Summerhall.