Words: Chloe Shimmin
Nat McCleary’s Thrown is a bold, intricate piece of theatre that explores what it means to be Scottish.
It sees five wildly different women joined together through the sport of backhold-wrestling, a sport that has been around since the 8th Century. Led by the powerful, committed Pamela (Lesley Hart) the team grapple with their differences as they travel together to compete in the Highland Games.
Each character faces a multitude of internal and external struggles that McCleary’s writing eloquently portrays and unravels. Humans are complex and messy, and McCleary’s playwrighting debut explores the struggle without offering you all the answers.
Imogen (Efè Agwele) is a vibrant, outspoken woman born in Scotland but raised in England. She befriends Jo (Adiza Shardow), making Jo’s childhood best friend Chantelle (Chloe-Ann Tylor) feel out of place. Meanwhile, always proving light relief is Helen (Maureen Carr), the older woman too young at heart to join the knitting club.
The intricacies of these connected relationships each explore further what it means to belong. With impassioned monologues that grip you and strike deep, meaningful cords we question what it means to be a team and ponder what unites and divides us all.
Well-crafted and gloriously directed by Johnny McKnight with pace and fire, this play is not craving your approval. It stands in its own feet and forces you to confront your own bias, privilege and perspective.
And if it makes people uncomfortable? Good.