Guantanamo

By VICTORIA BRITTAIN & GILLIAN SLOVO

REVIEWED BY SHAUN TRAYNOR

Nicolas Kent’s marvellous reconstructions in the Tricycle Theatre in North London which recently have included THE COLOUR OF JUSTICE (about the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry) JUSTIFYING WAR (scenes from the Hutton Inquiry) continue with this dramatic rendition of spoken evidence from prisoners and their families held in prison in the military base on Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, a gulag of the U.S.A.

Prisoners held there – thought to be members of the Taliban – are in a black hole politically, they have no right to habeas corpus, they are subject to military tribunal and ultimately to the President of the United States, who has described them – before trial – as killers.

It is this lack of access to due process of law which is an affront to civilised values.

The evening unfolds in a most moving and memorable way where these detainees are humanised - they and their families speak; their sense of loss is explicit and condemnatory.

I recalled the lines of the poet, Auden:

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Not to know about this protects politicians.

Tricycle Theatre 269 Kilburn High Rd NW6
Until Sat 12th June 2004 Box Office 020 7 328 1000