"Sometimes horrors are more penetrating when they are spoken in the softest voice - and so it proves in this potent, distilled miniature by Henry Naylor. The first in a trilogy of plays called Arabian Nightmares, it's a 70-minute three-hander in which interweaving monologues lead us steadily and gently into hell. The narative draws on the appalling human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, detailing with cool, ghastly precision the process by which ordinary people, corrupted by power, rage, hatred and violence, become capable of acts of unimaginable cruelty. And it forcefully implies that betrayal and atrocity were the shameful motifs of an unlawful war. Michael Cabot's touring production is stark: three metal stools, three dangling naked lightbulbs. The performances have a piercing focus and the writing is vivid, the trio's memories haunted by guilt, trauma and the ghosts of those who died in agony and humiliation. Short, sharp and shocking."
Sam Marlowe - The Times ****

The Collector


Playwright: Henry Naylor
Producer: Kathryn Barker Productions in association with London Classic Theatre
Director: Michael Cabot
Lighting: Andy Grange
Photography: Sheila Burnett

CAST: Olivia Beardsley, Shireen Farkhoy, William Reay.

SELECTED VENUES: York Theatre Royal, Nottingham Playhouse, Dundee Rep Theatre, Leicester Curve, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Severn Shrewsbury, Greenwich Theatre.

2003. Mazrat Prison. Once one of Saddam’s most notorious torture houses, now under Allied control. Nassir works here, translating for the Americans. He’s local, pro-Western, determined to embrace liberal values and is about to marry Zoya, his sweetheart. But when he is recognized by Faisal, a psychotic supporter of the old regime, his life becomes a living hell…

A compelling tale of murder, evil and betrayal in occupied Iraq, The Collector won a Fringe First at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival, before transferring to the Arcola Theatre, London in November 2014.

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