If I were a playwright, I would like to write like Henry Naylor.
Henry Naylor has been described, correctly, as ‘one of our best new playwrights’. He writes like Hemingway, not a word is wasted and he has that extraordinary ability to fill up the imagination without verbosity.
The story deals with the shambolic fall-out of the Iraq occupation and specifically the circumstances that turned soldiers from protector to tormentor of their prisoners at Abu-Ghraib prison. The play deals with two issues.
It is set against the return to the UK from Syria of Shamima Begum, the jihad bride.
Caitlin Thorburn, as Carter, is tasked to get the sensational scoop on the story by trying to entice a confirming quote from an Iraq veteran, Kane, that Shamima should not be allowed to return to the UK.
This part of the play deals with who dictates the news, the editor is after the confirming quote because the newspaper readers demand confirmation of an uneducated bias. The second theme of the play is what causes a man to descend into acts of evil, the torturing of prisoners.
How does that once evenly balanced man look back at those events at Abu-Ghraib once surrounded by normality? The additional attraction to this excellent production is Henry Naylor playing the role of Kane.
The Nights by Henry Naylor, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 4.15pm