After reading the terrible news about yet more migrants drowning while attempting the crossing between North Africa and Italy, I thought I'd copy the short review I wrote of Lampedusa, an excellent two-hander currently playing at the Soho Theatre (http://www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/lampedusa/):
So you think you know about immigrants washing up on the Italian island of Lampedusa? And you think you know what payday loans in the UK are all about? Well, think again. Stefano and Denise, the two characters telling us about their experiences as a 'fisherman of corpses' and a debt collector, don't just confirm what we already know or think we ought to feel. At times they are less than generous about the poor and desperate people they deal with – and certainly not politically correct. Cue uncomfortable laughter from the audience who, sitting mere feet from the actors, are almost complicit in their actions. But writer Anders Lustgarten keeps things beautifully balanced by pitting the Italian’s cynicism against the relentless optimism of an African immigrant and chipping away at the Yorkshire woman’s bitterness with unexpected acts of kindness from a single mother with debts. By the end of this beautiful and powerful play you may well think that for all its troubles Europe really isn’t so bad and Britain may not be broken after all.