Fringe Review: Everything Under The Sun

Jeremy Welch reviews Everything Under The Sun at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Dear Mother Africa, she bleeds. This play is written and directed by Highland writer Jack MacGregor, it is very well researched and his forensic eyes have turned the situation in Mali into a compelling drama.

Mali?  Where is it?  What is happening there? These questions are answered early on in the play by the very capable and talented actor Thierry Mabonga who plays Ibrihim, a translator attached to the UN peace keeping force.  

That peace keeping force has been in Mali for so long now that most people, African weary, have either lost interest or don’t even know there is a UN force in Mali.

Through the actors we find out about who the combatants are in Mali:- The Russian Wagner Group, French Government, Jihadist groups aplenty and the military junta nominally in charge of the country.  

Sitting between these various fractions are the UN peace keepers. As time has gone by it would seem that the original mandate for that presence has blurred or even been forgotten leaving behind an ill-defined mission statement.

The play unravels the story of Mali through a cast of actors playing some of the moving parts of the chaos that is Mali.  But more importantly the play explores the hopes of Ibrihim for his country which seemingly are not aligned to the UN mission.  

The ultimate aim, of course, is peace. But what is peace? I think in a recent interview Jack MacGregor summed it up perfectly: ‘Feeling safe in the present and having hope for the future.  It’s more than an absence of violence.’

It is gripping theatre and in 75 minutes of watching this play you will know more about Mali, her problems, her search for peace and the ever confusing hand of the UN than anyone else you know.

It’s informative, very well written, directed, and acted. You would be unwise to miss this play.


Everything Under The Sun is on at Army @ The Fringe – Drill Hall – from August 8-13, 15-20, 22-27

Tickets can be bought HERE.

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