“Affecting and compelling”: The Green Line, a guest 12thnight Fringe review by Alan Kellogg

The Green Line. Photo supplied.

The Green Line (Venue 3, Walterdale Theatre)

By Alan Kellogg

Here is an affecting, well-written piece by Edmonton playwright Makram Ayache (last year’s stellar Harun) that travels to a surprisingly wide variety of places over 75 compelling minutes.

The setting is war-torn Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and follows the lives of four young adults caught in the figurative and actual middle of the insane conflict between Muslims and Christians. The Green Line of the title began as a line of demarcation between the polarities and eventually became an actual natural reality.

There are also lines – and connections – between the characters for other reasons, as if potential imminent death wasn’t enough, including family issues, sexuality, university pressures, national identity, suppressed desire, financial control and sheer survival, each linked together in simple and profound ways.

The producers, In Arms Theatre Collective, “an independent ad hoc queer theatre group” has fashioned a strong national cast of Navtej Sandhu, Liana Bdewi, Maher Sinno, and Ayache, who acts as well as he writes. Kudos also accrue to the rest of the team including director Desiree Leverenz, who keeps things moving briskly (and thoughtfully) throughout.

This is a universal, first-class production more than worthy of your attention. If your heart beats, you will be moved. And you’ll be thinking about it the next day.

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