by Paula Citron
Palace of the End
Can Stage Company
Written by Judith Thompson
Directed by David Storch
Starring Maev Beaty, Julian Richings and Arsinée Khanjian
At the Bluma Appel Theatre until Feb. 23
Award-winning Judith Thompson’s new play Palace of the End is a tirade against the Iraq war, and she unleashes a potent cannonade of words to make her point that war is hell.
The format is three powerfully acted, long and distressing monologues showing different sides of the conflict. Maev Beaty is the infamous American soldier Lynndie England who posed with tortured prisoners at Abu Graib. Julian Richings is scientist David Kelly who exposed Tony Blair’s government and its lies about weapons of mass destruction. Arsinée Khanjian is the wife of the leader of Iraq’s Communist Party whose family experienced unimagined horrors under Saddam Hussein, a tyrant set-up by the Americans.
By the deathly quiet audience, one could sense that Thompson is preaching to the choir. Her attempts to get to the heart of these tormented souls is strong stuff, but I couldn’t help feeling manipulated.
Palace of the End continues at the Bluma Appel Theatre until Feb. 23.
I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.