London - March 5, 2011

Kilburn Times

9/11 play that will get audiences talking

HAVING witnessed first hand the events of 911 it is clear the ongoing impact of that day is still playing heavy on Gerald Thomas’ mind. The American playwright, who spent 21 days helping clear-up the mess, sets his new play, Throats, amid a backdrop of the aftermath of that fateful day.

In it he takes you from a metaphorical car crash into an apocalyptic world based on the paranoia that followed the towers’ collapse and his wild imagination.

The play opens with seven eccentric characters sitting down for what appears to be a last supper in what feels like some sort of purgatory.

Constant references to religion, war, terrorism and suspicion are left to the audience to make sense of while sudden bursts of dark and surreal humour is lapped up by some and flies over the head of others.

Explaining his fixation with paranoia and suspicion, Thomas said: “America is not used to being attacked and in a war zone. Consequently we are always being told to look out for something suspicious.

“But we suspect George Bush allowed 911 to happen to justify going to war with Iraq. This issue will not go away.”

The play is challenging and not for those looking for a beginning, middle and end, and it strangely makes sense when Thomas reveals he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

After, enthusiasts could be heard discussing its meanings and subtexts in the pub next door for hours while praising the startling and impressive sets and performances.

Thomas said of the play: “It’s about the future, it’s about my demons and it’s about me expressing myself. I don’t want people to go for a meal afterwards and forget about it.”

One of those demons appears to be his relationship with London and the UK explaining why it’s taken him 33 years to produce a play in what he calls home.

Thomas spent his formative years reading philosophy at the British Library while his parents come from Wales.

“London freaks me out and it still does but It never ceases to be on my mind, but now I’m incredibly happy to return home now.”

*Throats is on at the Pleasance Theatre, in North Road, Islington, Tuesday to Sunday until March 27.