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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2019

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

On Bear Ridge

On Bear Ridge   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones, East London Socialist Party

On Bear Ridge is the story of John Daniel (Rhys Ifans), his wife Noni (Rakie Ayola) and Ifan William (Sion Daniel Young), friend of the couple's dead son, and the trio's struggle to survive in a derelict butcher's and general store on a desolate mountain in Wales.

The shelves, shop and nearby village are equally empty. All they have left are memories. The shop and village have been left behind and it takes on a post-apocalyptic feeling. A feeling confirmed when it's revealed that the village and the "city by the sea" have been ravaged by war and unrest. Jet fighters roar overhead and the characters shout abuse and wave knives at the unseen combatants.

Even all-important memories are under threat. John Daniel fights the turning of his trousers into dusters because of their link to his memories - it's hilarious and tragic.

But more fundamentally, many of Daniel's memories are in, and linked to, the "old language", different from the one everyone now speaks. This clearly resonates profoundly in the play's Welsh setting but is also a warning about loss in a world torn apart by capitalist crisis. Writer Ed Thomas draws no conclusions, but the major theme is loss. Compounded further by the story that the Captain (Jason Hughes) tells when he shows up at the shop. Especially the loss of community, people, society and its memories and relationships.

The loss is cleverly illustrated as the spartan, but evocative set disappears throughout to leave only Bear Ridge mountain. The use of music and lighting is brilliant too. It all complements the powerful monologues and lovely humour of Ifans and co. The play will have you on the edge of your seat as you watch these characters on the edge.

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In The Socialist 13 November 2019:


What we think

Attacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win


News

Strike, protest, vote - Kick the Tories out

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent

NHS in critical condition

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos


International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia: Right-wing coup ousts Morales

Kshama Sawant reelected in Seattle


Workplace news

'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour

UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

PCS union general secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts

RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Transport for London - Justice for cleaners!


Education

Save education - Kick out the Tories


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester campaigns to save our NHS

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure

Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!

We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on

I'm 90 and still a socialist


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion: Twitter's banning of political ads threatens workers' voice

Theatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

Socialism 2019 - what you thought


 

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