Shining a Light on the Horror of the Ordinary

Readers Theatre Repertory starts the new year with “Bloody Ordinary,” a controversial examination of American injustice with Harold Pinter’s “One for the Road,” directed by David Berkson. The story of a master interrogator and his torture victims — a husband, wife and their young son — Pinter wrote One for the Road in response to torture in Turkish prisons during the 1980s, and the protection that Turkey received from the United States because of its strategic importance during the Cold War.

The performance will be followed by a “talk-with,” a conversation among the audience, the cast, and activist Norm Diamond. Dr. Diamond, professor of political science and international lecturer, is uniquely suited to guide the conversation, with a background as playwright, dramaturge, and reviewer along with his political work.

“I wish I could say that this play’s subject matter is dated, but unfortunately, it’s not,” says Berkson, who sees the production as a thought-provoking starting point, rather than an end. “My goal for the evening is to have everyone leave the theatre feeling hopeful, and determined. That’s why we’re having a conversation after the show — to empower all of us to take action against US-backed injustices everywhere.”

After its original production in the UK, “One for the Road” became an instant international sensation, and within a year was performed in the United States, Holland, Japan, Hungary, and apartheid South Africa. Pinter adamantly believed that beyond Turkey, the story had global relevance, saying “…I feel strongly now that we have an obligation to subject our own actions to…critical and moral scrutiny.”

The cast includes David Bodin, Alan Hakim and Andrea White.

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