Human Compass's Cardiff debut opens at St David's Hall on Thursday 16th April for three nights. This award winning play, by Frank McGuinness, first staged in 1992, tells the story of three men, and American, an Irishman and an Englishmen, who all find themselves sharing a cell in the Middle East following their capture at the hands of terrorists. It is frighteningly relevant in today's context and could well have been written only yesterday, and a brave and bold choice by the company.
We never see the captors and we never leave the cell, as the three men try to cope with this detachment from their outside lives, families and cultures. The script is subtle and rich, with existential and spiritual crises, mental breakdown, loss and comradeship, flights of imagination, the interpersonal differences which cause wars and the common ground which brings peace, even comments on fatherhood and nurture. The three actors are superbly cast, each with a very different personality, behaviour and delivery of lines, which heightens the sense of culture clash and thereby bolsters the emotional highs as they fight and reconcile.
At this preview, I was told that there will be an added feature of contextual media projected onto the stage during the finished performances. This will animate the cell and bring visuals to the imagined worlds the men create, as they play roleplay games: such as their Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ride and even a famous tennis match. I can't wait to see this inspired idea happen on stage, and it's a daring and exciting addition to an already compelling performance.
Tickets for the show are a mere £10, and at just over 2 hours length, this is astonishing value for money. As Human Compass are new to Cardiff this production might be easy to overlook, but I urge you not to miss this opportunity. Do not miss it.