What do you mourn?
Halina, offering up armistice to Otto, a German war correspondent whom she begrudgingly has nursed back to health, asks this powerful question in a moment of penetrating silence.
‘What do you mourn’ quickly becomes an allegory of ‘what are you fighting for’ as the two reminisce about a world untouched by war. A world filled with ribbons, dancing, strudel, and picnics by the river.
There is no glorification of war in Starling, a hauntingly thought provoking production written by the powerfully talented Julia Nardin and directed with great vision by Beau M.K. Prichard and Samm Murphy. Set during the last stand of the Polish resistance to the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, Starling follows two sisters, Halina and Klara who are forced to choose between serving their country and preserving their personal lives and sanity.
The actors were perfectly cast from Katherine Jeff, as Halina, a no-nonsense deeply guarded nurse, to Danika Golombek, portraying her sister Klara, a compassionate merciful photographer. Stefan Hajek plays Henryk, a “retired” boxer and Halina’s only confidant, David Klein as Jozef, a rigorous high ranking official of the Bureau of Information and Propaganda and Tom Stewart as Otto, the cocky wounded member of the Nazi party.
As Starling progresses we learn the value of choice, and the price of mercy. This intense production examines what it truly means to survive in the harshest of human conditions.
I deeply encourage you to attend Starling, presented by The Confrontational Theater Project running at 8p.m. at Inscape until Saturday June 21st 2014.
And maybe you, as I did, will leave pondering the question what do you mourn.
By Rachel Tyrrel