ThEATRE PARTISAN BABIES laugHing HorSe @ tHe counting HouSe (Venue 170) HHHHH
IT’S perhaps a measure of the trauma of the war in former Yugoslavia – which began some 18 years ago – that plays about it are relatively rare, even today. Aleksandra Bilic’s new drama
Partisan Babies, playing on the Free Festival, is a brave attempt to get to grips with some of the key issues surrounding the conflict, including the sudden flaring of hostility between old friends from different ethnic groups, the role of the media, and the strange slippage of time through which the memory of war suddenly re-emerges in the present, almost two decades on. The time scheme of Partisan
Babies is slightly confusing, as it slips between scenes set at the height of the conflict, and those set afterwards. But it’s staged with real flair in the upstairs room at the Counting house, as members of the fivestrong cast stride out of the audience to assert their role in the drama. And there’s a real poetry, too, in the writing; as a bruised generation tries to help one another survive the kind of experience no human being should ever have to undergo.