(Lyn Gardner’s review ran in the Guardian, 4/9)

The Empire

Royal Court Upstairs, London

In DC Moore's play, a bullet-scarred hovel in Helmand province is a corner of the world that is forever England. Outside, commanding officer Simon is waiting for the Chinook helicopter, whose arrival is a matter of life and death for Corporal Phipps, wounded in a Taliban attack. Inside, Phipps's best mate, Gary, and a young Afghan named Hafizullah (Gary has christened him Paddy) are watching over a prisoner.

Unlike his Afghan army colleagues who are eager to take revenge on the prisoner for the loss of their comrades, Hafizullah just wants to sleep, blotting out the memory of what the Taliban did to his family. As time passes and the Chinook doesn't arrive, the prisoner's identity becomes a subject of scrutiny, and the unspoken rules begin to break down.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2010/apr/09/the-empire-review

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