Theatre Review - The Lion Tamers Theatre Company Present - Removed and Destroyed – The Kings Arms, Salford

Removed and Destroyed

Removed and Destroyed - Credit: Archant

Written by: Matthew Gabrielli Directed by: Karl Barnsley

Even before we have sat down we are plunged into the world of Ted Daniels who is sat at a desk with two empty chairs opposite awaiting questioning. The reason Ted is in this room is because he has lost his briefcase and this is only the start of his nightmare.

The stage at the Kings Arms in Salford had been converted to a round theatre as the audience made their way into the venue and circled the action which played directly in front of them. It was a clever move by director Karl Barnsley to bring the heart of the action to the centre of the audience’s attention almost incorporating them within the feel of the story as though they acted as the jury.

Ted Daniels, played by the excellent Kevin Dewsbury, is being questioned over his missing briefcase, but soon the questioning turns darker as the main theme of the story starts to come to the forefront and Ted finds himself as a potential terrorist involved in a school bombing. David Garrett plays Fleming, the senior officer in charge of terrorist investigation in a stable and well-executed role with the impressive Ethan Holmes as his junior assistant, the somewhat terrifying Buchanan. They are your typical “Good Cop Bad Cop” duo trying to break down Ted Daniels into confessing his involvement with a terrorist group. Daniels constantly pleads his innocence, but uncovered evidence begins to swing the pendulum to the other side.

Matthew Gabrielli excels with his first major play showing a maturity beyond his years with a very intelligent piece of work dealing with important political matters relevant to the society we live in today. The script plays out beautifully with a mixture of light comedy and a dark, intense drama weaving turbulently throughout the course of the story. The clever use of a swear jar on the table which the officers constantly add to breaks the tension with light humour throughout. With only three characters in the story the strength of Gabrielli’s writing was not only in the storyline, but the development of the characters throughout the play with emotions and characteristics changing quite rapidly as the momentum of the piece changed. Both Gabrielli and Director Karl Barnsley have produced a masterful piece of theatre skilfully detailing the intensity of one room played out over the course of an investigation leaving the supreme abilities of Kevin Dewsbury to portray the downfall and defeat of a character. The versatility of both David Garrett and Ethan Holmes left us reeling with truly breath taking sequences where our allegiances constantly changed.

With such genuine performances from a vividly written script and haunting, melodic score, the Lion Tamers have not only produced an accomplished piece of entertaining theatre, but have also left us with something to take and ponder on as the realities of the play’s main themes of human rights are such an important part of our history and present and no doubt will still be in our future. Brought to life by stunningly superb performances and wonderful direction it is a play that you simply have to see for it deserves all the accolades that it will no doubt receive.

Remove and Destroyed is showing at Kings Arms Theatre, Salford -up to and including Saturday 24th May 7.30pm 2014 (Post Show Q&A 24th May) and touring to the Civic Arts Centre, Oswaldtwistle, Friday 19th-20th September 2014

For more information visit the Lion Tamers website at –

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