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Shuttleworth, Ian

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Financial Times - United Kingdom | 21/03/2007

A play called 'Europe' on at the Pit theatre in London

Currently on stage at the Pit theatre in London's Barbican Centre is 'Europe', a play written by David Greig, a playwright preoccupied with "how we construct who we are, how we use external frameworks (interpersonal, financial, political) to validate our various modalities of thought". The critic Ian Shuttleworth comments. "Europe: at various times it is the dreamed-of better life elsewhere, the exotic, the new opportunities for trade ... it is also who and where we are now, a symbol of civilisation and standards that we may look on as a birthright even while we betray them through, for instance, violent xenophobia. It is half-recognisable but never truly defined, like the blurred, distorted outlines of countries that flash up between scenes on the video backdrop. Greig, writing at the moment that Yugoslavia was fragmenting, grimly foretold so many characteristics and attitudes that are now commonplaces of 21st-century social and political life. This ought to be incidental to the play's central message that we must know not only ourselves but others; however, it cannot help lending an urgency, even a desperation to the work."

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