Tag Archives: Brian Duffy

The Process

The Process


The Bunker

The Process

The Process

The Bunker

Reviewed – 18th January 2020



“a haunting wake-up call to a society already trapped in a nightmare of its own creation”


Language, communication, understanding, conformity, politics, brutal bureaucracy, deafness and the future of a nation are the unlikely bedfellows in a scorching new drama at the Bunker Theatre.

Sarah Bedi’s powerful The Process hits its targets again and again, leaves the audience on the edge of their seats, and may even send them out weeping.

The artistic twist of this piece, which Bedi also directs with flair, is that it is presented in spoken English and British Sign Language. It is a clever device because it means that, but for a very small number in the audience, there are chunks of the play that will not be comprehended fully.

It may be a cliché to describe any drama set in a future dystopian society as resembling the TV series Black Mirror, but in this case it only scratches the surface of a thriller that will evoke shock, anger and even uncomfortable laughter.

From the outset we are told via a bleak projection that some will understand some things, some will understand different things and nobody will understand everything – that is how it is meant to be. What follows is a striking and often scary representation of a society that has become too clever for its own good, rating anyone not fitting in to a precise mould as troublesome or beneath respect.

The central characters in The Process are D/deaf but as a horrifying double climax makes clear it’s as much about the foreigner, the homeless, the poor, the uneducated, the disabled – in fact anyone who doesn’t fit neatly into a preconceived and comfortable package.

The scenario is “the day after tomorrow” with strong hints of a post-Brexit apocalypse. Tech wizard Jo (a blistering and robust performance from Jean St Clair) has created a cost efficiency app which monitors one’s value in society. Contribute too little for the benefit of those around you and you become a Null, a worthless member of the community destined to be locked away and forgotten.

The entrepreneur rapidly finds her personal life and that of those close to her spiralling downwards, with attempts to be heard and understood heartlessly ignored and her own invention turned against her.

This is a strong ensemble piece with all the other actors variously compelling in several roles. William Grint, Catherine Bailey, Ralph Bogard, George Eggay and Erin Siobhan Hutching find humour and subtle shades as the tension builds.

The set, an austere backdrop of impersonal and foreboding cells by Mayou Trikerioti, is cold and unyielding. The discompassionate picture is helped by the hums and throbs of a constant rich soundscape (Oliver Vibrans) and noteworthy lighting/video (William Reynolds).

This fourth full length project from BAZ Productions is not without its flaws – there are moments when the action cracks on a shade too rapidly at the expense of coherence and sometimes belief has to be suspended beyond normal bounds of acceptability – but the gritty credibility and the bold audacity in writing, directing and performances quickly outweighs them.

The Process is uncompromising in its dark message. It is the sort of timely and quality experimental production that makes you desperate for the Bunker to stay open and keep tackling such important issues through drama rather than having to close in the Spring for site redevelopment.

It offers a haunting wake-up call to a society already trapped in a nightmare of its own creation. If we fail to communicate with or attempt to listen to each other then this imagined stark future can only become a grim reality.

We don’t need to understand everything to respond and this stimulating and visionary production could be the first step in mending civilisation.


Reviewed by David Guest

Photography by Paul Biver


The Process

The Bunker until 1st February


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Fuck You Pay Me | ★★★★ | May 2019
The Flies | ★★★ | June 2019
Have I Told You I’m Writing a Play About my Vagina? | ★★★★ | July 2019
Jade City | ★★★ | September 2019
Germ Free Adolescent | ★★★★ | October 2019
We Anchor In Hope | ★★★★ | October 2019
Before I Was A Bear | ★★★★★ | November 2019
I Will Still Be Whole (When You Rip Me In Half) | ★★★★ | November 2019
My White Best Friend And Even More Letters Best Left Unsaid | ★★★★ | November 2019
The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye | ★★½ | January 2020


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4.48 Psychosis – 4 Stars


4.48 Psychosis

New Diorama Theatre

Reviewed – 21st September 2018


“a productive insight into the problems of deaf mental health patients, forcing us to confront the fact that their experiences are rarely considered”


4.48 Psychosis is the final work by British playwright Sarah Kane, an unflinching and often violent portrayal of a life lived on the brink of suicide. It has no characters. It has no setting. It has a script, and nothing more. Safe to say, it’s not what you’d call accessible.

It’s a pleasant surprise, therefore, that this collaboration between the New Diorama Theatre and Deafinitely Theatre has resulted in something that is not only accessible to the average theatre-goer, but also speaks to a group that is too often excluded from the conversation. Deafinitely Theatre’s Artistic Director Paula Garfield reimagines Kane’s play (which, having no identifiable characters or visuals, is dependent on its dialogue) as a comment on mental health in the deaf community. Performed in a mixture of British Sign Language and English, Garfield aims to create a piece that is ‘engaging’ for deaf audiences while also exploring the problems faced by deaf mental health patients.

Garfield envisions a version of 4.48 Psychosis that has both a social and artistic impact: she achieves both of these aims. By creating a loose narrative from Kane’s fragmentary text, she effectively explores how difficult it is to explain the reality of living with a mental health condition. The play features two doctors, both of whom are hearing, and two deaf patients. The patients must attempt to make themselves understood before health professionals with questionable levels of sympathy. Kane’s dialogue shows that this is hard enough for a hearing patient; here, the actors’ evocative use of sign language amplifies this even further. From the perspective of a hearing audience member, this is a productive insight into the problems of deaf mental health patients, forcing us to confront the fact that their experiences are rarely considered.

At the same time, Garfield maintains the essence of Kane’s play. Although she makes the dialogue and its meaning feel a little more familiar, a strange, almost otherworldly quality remains. Enclosed in a tiny hospital room and shielded from the audience by a plastic screen, the characters seem like part of a dystopian fantasy. They wrestle with volatile emotions under sudden flashes of harsh light, as Kane’s lyrical text are projected behind them; they march in formation as they reveal their most intimate thoughts. Although the actors have distinct characters, they balance their nuanced and naturalistic performances with a commitment to Kane’s abstract presentation. Garfield does not attempt to simplify the content, and the actors fully commit to her vision with force.

4.48 Psychosis may not be for everyone: almost two decades after its first performance, it continues to shock and disturb. But Deafinitely Theatre’s landmark production demonstrates not only its value, but its ever-expanding potential to explore untold stories.


Reviewed by Harriet Corke

Photography by Becky Bailey



4.48 Psychosis

New Diorama Theatre until 13th October


Previously reviewed at this venue
It Made me Consider | ★★★ | February 2018
Trap Street | ★★★★ | March 2018
Left my Desk | ★★★★ | May 2018
 Bitter | ★★★★ | June 2018


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