Theatre review: Deadly Dialogues

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: In graceful, unforced rhyming couplets, four characters – two male, two female – move in and out of a simple, white-curtained space, just as refugees can find ways of ghosting past fortified borders when their need or desire is great.

C (Venue 34)

***

One young woman has courageously fled from unspeakable horror in Syria to the bland safety of Dartford, while another is moving the other way, chased deep into a newfound religious belief by her shame at having intimate photos shared on the internet; now, she wants people who search for her online to feel horror at her actions in the caliphate rather than cruel amusement.

Elsewhere, a young man newly freed from prison is subtly conditioned by his fellows’ encouragement not to forget the sense of safety his Islamic brothers provided while he was inside, as an anonymous ‘Muslim Banksy’ daubs religious buildings in Syria as a means of defiance. Sponsored by the anti-extremist organisation Quilliam – from whose research it draws resonant first-hand experience of the subject matter – playwright Nazish Khan and director Jessica Lazar’s piece, a combination of monologue and dialogue scenes, has a thoughtful, lyrical quality offering by turns shards of hope and passages of gut-wrenching insight.

Until 28 August. Today 4:15pm.