The Fear of Breathing

Ruth Sherlock, Paul Wood Zoe Lafferty

The Fear of Breathing

As thousands have been tortured, jailed, maimed or killed by the Syrian regime, The Fear of Breathing is a hard-hitting evocation of a life or death fight for freedom, experienced from the inside. To uncover these personal stories from the uprising, award-winning journalists Paul Wood of the BBC and Ruth Sherlock of The Daily Telegraph, together with theatre director Zoe Lafferty, travelled into Syria covertly, circumventing the ban on journalists and restrictions on movement for all non-Syrians. Immersed in Syria's suffocating environment of oppression and fear, they spoke to protesters facing tanks and guns, soldiers who deserted to form the Free Army, activists who dream of change, as well as citizens who love President Bashar al-Assad and are terrified of a future without him. 3.2 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The Fear of Breathing

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Finborough Theatre
Director Zoe Lafferty
Cast Scott Ainslie, David Broughton-Davies, Paul Cawley, Gareth Glen, Nicholas Karimi, Sirine Saba, John Wark, Adam Youssefbeygi
From July 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 0844 847 1652
 

As thousands have been tortured, jailed, maimed or killed by the Syrian regime, The Fear of Breathing is a hard-hitting evocation of a life or death fight for freedom, experienced from the inside. To uncover these personal stories from the uprising, award-winning journalists Paul Wood of the BBC and Ruth Sherlock of The Daily Telegraph, together with theatre director Zoe Lafferty, travelled into Syria covertly, circumventing the ban on journalists and restrictions on movement for all non-Syrians. Immersed in Syria's suffocating environment of oppression and fear, they spoke to protesters facing tanks and guns, soldiers who deserted to form the Free Army, activists who dream of change, as well as citizens who love President Bashar al-Assad and are terrified of a future without him.

Reviews

The Stage

Natasha Tripney

The first part of the production illustrates how important social media has been as a revolutionary tool, a means of connecting people under an oppressive regime. There’s a sense of optimism and hope intermingled with anger as the activists discuss their cause. But as the situation escalates and the violence intensifies, the production becomes more targeted in its anger.

20/07/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Dominic Cavendish

This project primarily trusts in the words gathered to grip and inform us. Using a war-torn design that rips a gash of concrete along the back-wall, Lafferty intersperses the scenelets with video footage and at points the cast provide visceral re-enactments of street skirmishes or bouts of torture. But in general it’s the simple attempt to articulate “ordinary” Syrian experience that draws us in.

23/07/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

While the first-hand testimony is riveting, Lafferty's production strains too hard to reproduce the sights and sounds of the bombing that we vicariously experience every night on television. And, although the show's creators may argue it is beyond their brief, I'd like to have seen some attempt to address the big question: after the fall of Assad, what happens next?

22/07/2012

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The Sunday Times

David Jays

Bearing witness despite everything is the touchstone. Initially, there’s hope and humour, but the regime’s ferocious response stifles optimism. There’s no doubting the courage, commitment and resourcefulness here, but the production overplays its hand. Dramatisations of torture feel sensationalised compared to the sober fact of someone looking you in the eye and speaking their truth.

29/07/2012

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The Times

Jeremy Kingston

In the many documentary plays presented over at the Tricycle, the crimes and follies had already reached the wretched climax and an attempt could be made to tell the whole story. But even more important than this difference, the verbatim material in The Fear of Breathing has not been interestingly or even helpfully edited. We see one character being beaten in four separate scenes, where it would have been more informative to learn how he seemed on one occasion to set himself up to be arrested with dangerous material in his pockets.

25/07/2012

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