Shrapnel – 34 Fragments of a Massacre, by Anders Lustgarten.  Arcola Theatre.  Review by Julia Pascal.


This is political theatre of today at its most dynamic.  Lustgarten’s play is set during the controversial 2011 Roboski massacre when Turkish Armed Forces dropped bombs on unarmed smugglers.  It is a sharp investigation of the double talk of the Turkish military which secretly helps ISIS as a way of defeating the PKK/The Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Shrapnel is a mixture of documentary, film, realism and heightened satire as it creates a mosaic of interconnected lives.  Lustgarten offers snapshots of a brutal Turkish army, a government-serving press and a vision of life on the ground for the smugglers and the unseen PKK.  It also critiques the global arms industry as a key player in the murder of the innocents.

Mehmet Ergan’s beautifully committed production offers an authentic atmosphere and a strong team of actors who help us to understand this daily struggle from ground level to drone.

Lustgarten’s Shrapnel provokes the audience to question whether Attaturk’s vision of a secular, democratic Turkey still exists.

Julia Pascal © 2015.