The unimaginable. Roadkill. Pachamama Productions at Dundee Rep.


An image from the 2012 Festival Fringe Production

An image from the 2012 Festival Fringe Production

Whilst most of you were watching the X Factor or Antiques Roadshow my wife and I spent an hour and a half in a damp 15ft x 15ft square squalid bedroom in a run down estate in the North Side of Dundee witnessing a 14 year old Nigerian Girl being repeatedly raped and gang raped to a soundtrack of coursing Scottish electro rock.

We arrived in darkness and were warned to “watch our heads” on the washing lines as we traversed a drying green coursing with weeds and strewn with rubbish.

We left the same.  Heavy-hearted but at least safe in the knowledge that the trauma we had just endured was art.  Not real.

It couldn’t possibly be real.

Could it?

Yes, actually, it could, and Jenny Marra MSP is trying to do something about it, using this astounding production as leverage to debate the scandal that is sex trafficking in Scotland.

So, in response to Marra’s initiaitive, and in support for Cora Bissett’s truly mindblowing vision I urge you to write to Jenny Marra and pledge your support to her proposal for a bill on Child Trafficking in Scotland.

Back to the play…

Cora Bissett is now firmly established in my mind as a national treasure.  This is the second production of hers that I have seen this year. (The last was Whatever Gets you through The Night on this year’s Fringe.)

What Bissett does, like nobody else, is celebrate Scotland’s underclasses in a way that is uplifting.  OK, Roadkill is hard to describe as uplifting but it empowers its central protagonist in a very powerful way, albeit we have to go to hell and back to get there.

I think Ken Loach would very much appreciate Cora’s work.

This play is deeply disturbing, deeply moving but artistically brimming full of ideas; music, animation, special effects, site specific in a really, really good way and, believe it or not, funny (the journey from Dundee Rep to Dundee Wreck was hilarious as the two main protagonists Martha (Lashana Lynch) and Mary (Faith Omole) sought to wrong foot us into thinking 14 year old Mary had left the misery of Nigeria and entered the land of Milk and Honey – when in truth it was the land of Filth and Money).

What follows this gay abandon on the bus is nothing short of harrowing.

But brilliant and ultimately hopeful.

I feel honoured to have been in the same rooms as Faith Omole, Lashana Lynch and Nicky Elliot who played various male roles – worst of all the Polish pimp that struck fear into the audiences hearts only five minutes in to this masterpiece.

I’d say, go see it, but you can’t.  There are only 19 tickets per performance and they’re all sold.

So, really, I don’t know what else to say other than be aware, very aware of this hideous, heinous crime.

PS.  Credit also must go to Stef Smith for her superb script.

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