On the 16th March 2008, the Fuse Theatre Company came into school and did a play which is called the Shadow Companion. This had taken place in the theatre. This play had consisted of four characters their names are Asra Abboud, Ruby Wellbourn, Billy Wellbourn and Khadmin Abboud. Their actual names are Sarah Amankwah, Aisiling Caffery, Michael Chapman and Chris Jack. MY first impressions of this play were ‘Wow, this is going to be interesting’ the play had taken place in the centre stage the most. The issues and themes that were explored in the play were the friendship between Ruby and her friend Asra; Asra and her dad lives in a temporary refugee accommodation on the edge of her community.
The play has a basic story line which Ruby chants and is at the mount; this is a place where she used to visit her Nan. She lights up candles and they draw a circle on the ground with her feet. There is a scene based upon Ruby meeting Asra they have a little argument at first. Then as the play goes on they grow closer and closer until the stage where both dad’s finds out and is upset about the situation. Asra puts a scarf on Ruby and they go back to Asra’s place when the father meets Ruby and he is disgusted with the fact that Asra is hanging around with Ruby, as Asra is trying to fit in more. And so the argument goes on from there, there is a point in the play were it rises until a dad is that frustrated that pours water over his daughter. This still doesn’t mean that they will stop meeting each other. This all happens at a later scene in the play.
In the first few scenes, Mr. Abu is an asylum seeker from Sudan where he was a teacher. The scene opens when he comes in wearing a suite and a hat. A speech is then delivered as if he is in an interview with someone. This gives us a brief idea about his character background. Sound effects are used to change the scenes. Ruby who is at the age of going out, and betraying the family sits on the mound writing in her diary for a minute or two.
She then exists through the stage door. Ruby’s father named Billy enters the pub. A sound in the back ground sets a scene. Bill comes in all prepared with his pint, and delivers a speech about asylum seekers being virus’ taking over his country. This is a direct speech addressing it as the audience was attending the meeting. A phone rings and a answer machine message is left about Ruby’s Nan. His dad didn’t pick up the phone and he hears the messages and is shocked to hear about it. Ruby enters and is frustrated and the tension beings to flare up and a rocky relationship is showing. We eventually learn that Ruby’s mum left her and her dad.
Half way through the play, a red chair is brought on to symbolize Mr. Abu’s house. This starts in showing the happy side of father-daughter relationship and daughter Asra appears on scene with school uniform on. Mr. Abu’s gives a black scarf and Asra doesn’t appear too happy but says thanks anyway. Both fathers come face to face. They talk to each other about intimidation. Bill later states he has a right to protest outside his house. The police siren is turned on and Bill decides to threaten Mr. Abu saying he will come back. Asra and Ruby meets, Ruby explains her chants and the circle, keeping it a secret between the two of them.
The secret between them is the explanation of the moth and the light, the description of love. They eventually share an understanding. Ruby puts on the headscarf. Eventually they join hands to symbolize their friendship. A rejection letter comes through, Khadim is angry and looks out the window to see Ruby and Asra swapping back the headscarf. His anger is growing. Ruby comes into the house but soon leaves. Khadim takes his anger out on his daughter and pushes her to the ground. He cannot stand the fact that Asra is fitting into the English Culture. He pours water over her as she weeps. The scene ends with the car horns and lights again. This time Khadim opens the door and shouts out to the racists.
In the last few scenes, Asra is on the hill and is extremely upset, she does what Ruby normally does, which is to create a circle and begins to chants. Ruby enters and helps her they talk about their relatives who passed away. Ruby then pretends that her mum as sent her a messages. On the hill both dads’ come and say sorry and get their daughters. They hug. Ruby tells him that she doesn’t like what he does but he just holds her in his arms. Asra and Khadim has their relationship back on track as they joke over dinner. The car noises re-appear but this time Khadim walks over calmly to the window and stares at those who are trying to intimidate him. This time he stands up to everyone.
The themes and issues which were explored in the play are father and daughter relationships are always going to have a good and a bad side to things. There is an example like ‘Khadim takes his anger out on his daughter and pushes her to the ground. He cannot stand the fact that Asra is fitting into the English Culture. He pours water over her as she weeps’ the father pushed her to the ground and poured water all over her. The reason I liked this scene because it shows me that no matter how hard you try, no father-daughter relationships are perfect.
They built up an atmosphere on stage by addressing a speech to the audience and to make them feel involved. I didn’t feel that this had built up any tension. I think the audience feels scared at this point. The types of drama conventions that they use are direct address, this happened at the start when Billy delivered a speech at the start, it made us feel involved. Sound effects were also used because it builds up tension and it makes us feel scared.