The White Crow

Production: The White Crow
Venue: York Theatre Royal
Rating: ***

Donald Freed’s play portrays Adolf Eichmann’s interrogation upon apprehension in Argentina. Eichmann, (commonly acknowledged as the “architect of the Holocaust”) is loudly rendered by Robert Pickavance in a play which polemcially seeks to re-evaluate his contribution to the genocide and re-establish his sense of humanity.

The performance is sustained by just two actors for the vast majority of the play’s two-hour exploration of the psychology of a war criminal. Whilst Sonia Petrovna convinces as Dr Baum, the unconvential interrogator, at times the tension and essential connection between the two characters is made too explicit and thus less effective; something exacerbated by the harrowing subject matter.

Impressive, however, was the use of stage space, and the shift of set between the first and second acts. The interrogation cell housed the first half, with the audience readily aware of our act as a voyeur: peeping through shutters. The glass windows enabled the viewer to create a conceptual distance between Eichmann’s complicity in atrocity and the old man shuffling before us in loose pants and large spectacles.

The crux of the second act though, in which Eichmann is whipped, prostrate on the floor, was a rather blunt touch.

The White Crow is showing at the York Theatre Royal until Saturday 23rd May

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