Review The Island, Fio by Hannah Ladd

The Island presented by Fio

Directed by Abdul Shayek

Performed by Joe Shire, Wela Mbusi

In this two hander between John (Joe Shire) and Winston (Wela Mbusi), we see two prisoners serving sentences for “crimes” at the infamous prison of Robyn Island. We see the two characters battle with the injustice of their situation. This is expressed through them attempting to put on the play Antigone. This is a clever choice of play for these prisoners to present as it talks about the injustice of Antigone’s sentence that completely echoes John and Winston’s suffering. We hear their stories and the terrible happenings in South Africa at the time of apatite.

Wela Mbusi and Joe Shire 

I think Fio has selected a clever choice of play here as it is a true reflection on what can happen in a country if we don’t address problems with Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality. In today’s current climate these discussions are more and more important to be having. Putting on such work is a reminder of the progress we made but still how far we have to go. It makes us not forget about things that can be so easily forgotten.

Joe Shire and Wela Mbusi are the heart of the production, their chemistry on stage and energy kept my engaged throughout this piece, particularly in some of the more humorous parts of the production. There were moments of magic between these actors that made me invested in this story.

At points the production was a little long and maybe could be shaved down, but overall this is an important piece of theatre to see. I enjoyed very much.

I was lucky enough to see the production in the community of Pill in Newport an incredibly diverse working class town. The fantastic thing Fio manged to achieve at this event was a full capacity audience with the room bursting at the seams. With 83 members of the public coming out to see this production. Making this piece of theatre a community event as a posed to just a show. Fio  invited an audience that quite possibly wouldn’t feel theatre is the place for them. But simply having some food a raffle and some other production related activities made this event something to be inspired.

Hannah Ladd

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