review: Warrior Square

“I hate the Chinese.”

“What? – All of them? If you stayed awake every hour of every day for the rest of your life, you wouldn’t be able to hate all of them. There wouldn’t be time."

This dialogue from “Warrior Square”, a play performed at Burngreave Vestry Hall on Wednesday 4th June 2008 summarises one of the themes of the play – that it’s pointless hating people indiscriminately.

The story is of two children – a boy called Andréa and a girl called Riva – who flee their home country with their mother, in a scene of terror when their father is murdered by the mob. With only each other to give the support they need to deal with this trauma, they find themselves placed in shabby, insecure housing in a seaside town to await their official notification of their application for asylum.

The two children cling to precious gifts – given by their father shortly before his murder – and they symbolise the way the characters deal with the loss of their past life. Andréa has a football (and what sounds like a girl’s name in English); Riva has her doll. The audience sees how Andréa’s football breaks down his resistance to eventual integration, as he progresses from solitary football practice (some very neat footwork, incidentally) to playing for a team. In the same way he eventually rediscovers his own identity through being proud of his real name.


“Warrior Square” explains to the audience how the apparent hostility of a newly-arrived refugee towards the whole world can be overcome, with understanding and patience. Riva’s example of girly chat also works! Their mother’s story shows there is hope after deep depression.

Astonishingly, the whole performance is done by just two actors (Rob and Megan) in a number of roles. The change-overs and props were highly ingenious and the play was very energetic.

As a free performance for the community, with a free meal from the kitchens of the Pakistan Muslim Centre and a question-and-answer session afterwards, this story of integration was a treat.


The performers have been taking the play to schools in the area too – some children had already had a preview.

Repeat performance

A second performance at the Vestry Hall will take place on 19th June. Tickets (free) are available from Tom Felicien at New Deal – tel. 279 7160.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Douglas Johnson on 2008-06-05 21:12:39.
The content of the page was last modified by Douglas Johnson on 2008-06-06 20:49:22.

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