The Collector tells the tale of Nassir, one of the many people who worked as an interpreter for the Americans during the American occupation of Iraq in 2003. His world is mainly seen through the eyes of his girlfriend Zoya, a collector of music CDs. Henry Naylor’s script weaves a complex web of divided loyalties, prejudiced ideas and the desire to survive in the shifting sands of an uncertain political landscape.
The Music and the sound design for the performance intended to place the audience not only into a specific time and place, but to create a real sense of anxiety and foreboding as to what was to come. Much of the sound design was subtle and was used to support the mesmerising performances on stage as well as hopefully adding to the claustrophobic and emotional nature of the piece.
The intro music uses traditional instruments from the middle east and recordings of female vocals from Iraq and Syria. The outro music at the end of the play is a mixture of contemporary Hip Hop and Arabian rhythms and motifs.
The music and some scenes from rehearsals can be heard in this video
Excerpt from Review by La Vida Liverpool
The Collector is simply an exceptional piece, brilliantly produced and directed with mesmerising performances from the cast of three, comprising Reginald Edwards as Captain Kasprowicz, Jennifer Varda as Zoya, and Kathryn McGurk as Foster, confiding in the audience their version of events, their secret thoughts, hopes and fears. Surrounding a concrete plinth in the centre of the theatre, like spectators around a wrestling ring, the audience are addressed directly throughout. The lighting, shifting occasionally to put the spotlight on each section of the audience, was somewhat disorientating, as though at times we were also under interrogation.
Excerpt from Review by Theatre Revolt
I never thought that a play that focusses primarily on torture and interrogation could be so funny. Some of the scenes in the piece have you on the edge of your seat with shoulders high, tensing at the neck. When suddenly the tension is cut with a comedic knife that is timed extremely well and not once overused either – a deft touch by director Ellie Hurt. In terms of performances, the trio of actors all approach the piece with subtlety and prowess. There is an understanding of the world and reality in which these characters find themselves in that means the acting is convincing and extremely well delivered.
Produced by The B Collective
Directed By Ellie Hurt
Sound Design Stephen Hull
Stage Manager Rebecca Sharman
Lighting Ellen Butterworth-Evans