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The Report

  • Theater
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Michael Countryman, one of this year’s few Fringe leads with significant Broadway credits, serves as narrator and anchor of this compelling look back at England’s largest single civilian disaster in World War II. The most gripping element of Martin Casella’s play is the real history that it explores. After 173 people die in London’s Bethnal Green tube station while taking shelter from a 1943 air raid, locals demand to know what happened, and magistrate Laurence Dunne (Countryman) must get to the bottom of it—a task made difficult by government censorship and the freshness of the trauma. The outstanding Countryman plays Dunne as both a young investigator brought in to speak to witnesses and an old man looking back on his legacy; the rest of the cast of 12 play multiple roles. The Report’s powerful depiction of wartime panic, guilt and ethical confusion is sometimes hindered by misjudged staging: One character reacts melodramatically to a plot development, for example, and a few too many folding chairs are moved through the air in theatrical slow motion. But the play offers a fascinating look into a forgotten corner of England’s wartime experience.—Dana Varinsky

Click here for full Time Out New York coverage of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival.


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