In the wake of the media circus around the Meredith Kercher trial and intense interest in the accused and convicted Amanda Knox, a play about a victim of trial by media seems both timely and relevant. A Shadow That Remains Cast invents an infamous alleged sororicide, a crime for which the older sister is acquitted, vital evidence having gone missing before the trial. The accused, who has become demonised in the media and a spill the beans book by her flatmate, tells her story, in this one woman show.
Opening voiceovers suggest the media onslaught this 'satanic sister' is subjected to. She is a sad, angry, lone figure apparently trying to come to terms with how her friends and loved ones have turned against her, let alone dealing with grief at the loss of her sister. But as her narrative unfolds and the voices of her dead sister Hannah and traitorous flatmate Claudia are interspersed with her own, they begin to mix in unsettling ways. Whose words are being spoken, whose story is being told? She says she didn't do it. The she says she did. But she didn't. Did she?
This is a new play with an interesting and topical subject matter dealing with the power of the media, subjectivity, truth and delusions, and quite possibly mental health. Co-written by Deborah Wastell and Roy Butlin, the former carries the hour long show well, bringing an undercurrent of hysteria to this ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances. However, just when tension and intrigue should be building, the script feels sketchy and rambling with danger of losing the audience's interest. Some judicious editing could make the show tauter and focus more strongly towards its twisty and emotional climax.
A Shadow That Remains Cast is at Barons Court Theatre (downstairs at The Curtain's Up pub) until 30 May at 8pm, tickets £10