By: Ronnie Ruff
The New World Order and Other Plays — Scena Theatre
Pinter’s The New World Order and Other Plays currently mounted at Warehouse Theatre by Scena Theatre is a cluster of angry one act plays that speak to the oppressive governments that abuse the citizenry of the third world. Mainly aimed at the west, the three one acts depict the atrocities against the Kurds in Turkey, the people of Nicaragua and the citizens of Iraq. All three of the plays are generic in nature describing only the most vague situations of abuse. Details are minimal, we do not know anything really about the victims or the abusers, only that the victims are shaking with fear and the torturers are giddy with anticipation of bloodletting. It is the impending physical torture that provides the buildup to an anticipated ending that never happens.
David Bryan Jackson is able to bring a serpent like quality to his character in “One For The Road“. He slithers across the set with an almost evil quality that shakes you and has you feeling all the more sorry for the victims. Michael McDonnell shakes uncontrollably in terror, his fear though, may be a bit over the top. His role as the officer in ‘Mountain Language” is far better. Artistic Director Robert McNamara’s skillful direction brings out the undercurrents of fear that Pinter soaks these one acts in.
The sets and costumes are appropriate for these politically charged stories of brutality and the small Warehouse space takes on the feel of a torture chamber. One must decide before seeing this kind of material if he or she is willing to make the emotional connection to the causes and politics that are portrayed on stage. Not really entertainment, The New World Order and Other Plays is something you subject yourself to in order to understand views that shape modern day political discourse. The question is are you game?