Screen 9

Edinburgh Fringe
Pleasance at EICC – Lomond Theatre
21st – 29th Aug, 2021

Pleasance was my first stop for a live show called Screen 9; it was good to be there in person to take in this powerful true story play written about the events that occurred in 2012 in Colorado where a mass shooting was to take place.

There were 4 participants in this recollection of the screen 9 unhappiest and upsetting tragedy. The room was a large conference space ay Edinburgh’s EICC, with a screen, a strip stage and socially distant seating. When we entered there was free pop corn and the effects of the set looked of a certain date that preceded 2012.

It happened at a showing of a midnight showing of the Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and so in turn the four relayed their stories and enthusiasm for being there as big fans or for boyfriends. They took turns of this dialogue and shared the stage with the audience who were there for serious reasons. In the Screen 9 cinema set up; the room would be used to recreate the actual events of the shooting, stepping over dead bodies and wounded people.

In the end James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 59, in the prolonged moments describing it four stories were to inter develop from their points of view. They all questioned their reasons for being there but they were in shock, and disbelief. With blood everywhere one of the actor’s boyfriends effectively hid his girlfriend tightly under a seat, saving her life but not his own as he was critically wounded.

Another sprang to life and instinctively began to salvage what he could, but the shock was so much that they at first couldn’t feel anything due to adrenalin. As they took seats in the audience their action was all in the dialogue, with a few lighting directions. The play drove home its purpose as we in horror listened to their voices and were a little stirred as we imagined the unreal, yet only too real, state of events.

The four were youthful as they represented the stories of the people who were there and who all these years later still suffer from this life changing and manic deterioration. The play worked into a debate about guns in America and we have to remember the size of the problem with one calling it complicated. On painful reflection they each had their own and different points of view in their debate.

But can a debate hold any real significance for actual change or will their gun laws remain the same forever? The world is aware of this issue especially due to the internet, but plays like this are sorely needed to bring it into our laps and our communities, after all the yearly numbers of gun crime victims are tenfold.

There can’t be anything good to come of this save a serious look at their laws. The quality of the play would have been fantastic but for its theme and their seriousness of important expression and tribute to the many victims who died watching a movie at the cinema.

We are closer to imagining something of the devastation in what is all too often called Mass shootings. So in this well attended venue on this day we witnessed an inhumane act as a second hand account but with a firsthand insight, disbelief, and have been shaken by a dark tale.

Daniel Donnelly

Posted on August 22, 2021, in 2021. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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