Teatr Biuro Podróży presents Silence
I believe that theatre is for everyone, so when you discover a dynamic space like Bell Square in Hounslow, which is host to a fabulous outdoor art’s festival right in the heart of the town centre what’s not to love. This is a place where anyone and everyone of any age can access exciting theatre and performance from the UK and all around the world.
I took a trip to Bell Square on Saturday night, and as darkness fell over the town, the young and old gathered on the simple wooden seating to witness what was to be a very powerful and compelling piece of theatre.
Teatr Biuro is a performance company from Poland. Silence is the newly commissioned sequel to the legendary Carmen Funebre, depicting the continuing story of refugees and migrants caught up in war.
The show opened dramatically with the entrance of two foreboding looking figures in masks on high stilts. They uncovered an old burnt out bus that set the scene of a group of refugees and their innocent children, who were poignantly represented by puppet figures as if to witness the atrocities of war silently and without a voice. A powerful and emotional production, which uses music, physical theatre, puppetry and fire to its full effect, to tell a story which reflects the reality of modern day conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq.
The menacing captors came in Mad Max style vehicles or masked on stilts wielding fire, created a ghastly visual portrayal of brutality. The families’ wretched existence was beautifully portrayed by each of the performers with a tenderness, which was affecting. The imagery of simple domestic chores and attempt to be playful with their children or playing football amongst themselves with an old shoe was especially touching.
The use of fire was spectacular, and at one point the whole bus went dramatically up in flames and you could feel the heat of the burning orange flames that powerfully swept through the vehicle, and as the smoke filled the square you could hear the gasps of the audience all of whom were there to witness and understand the plight of these innocent people which we have come to hear about so often.
Teatr Biuro’s performance was a wonderful skilful visual feast, albeit it not for the faint hearted. Perfectly pitched for an outdoor show with the backdrop of a working town and the irony of the planes flying overhead.
Undoubtedly an evening I won’t forget, and one that reminded me of the remarkable power of theatre in its ability to talk to everyone. I look forward to visiting Bell Square again soon.
The permanent outdoor arts space in the heart of Hounslow, showing top quality UK and international outdoor arts fortnightly until December. From circus to dance, theatre to music, performances are free and open to all.