Bullet Hole – Camden Fringe Festival
Etcetera Theatre

Words by: Review by Elvina Quaison | Published: Friday, August 4, 2017 1:17 PM
Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams [c] Lara Genovese, Naiad Photography Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams [c] Lara Genovese, Naiad Photography

This year from July 30 to August 27 Camden Fringe takes place in Camden Town, offering an excellent opportunity to see new work and experience talent you were unaware. This was the case for me and a production by Gloria Williams called Bullet Hole which, directed by Lara Genovese.


See listing

The close quarters of the intimate theatre truly places the audience right in the centre of every dramatic, tension-filled moment”.


Contrary to what the name suggests the production explores Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the impact it is having on the main character played by Gloria Williams called Cleo. The close quarters of the intimate theatre truly places the audience right in the centre of every dramatic, tension-filled moment. As the story unfolds for Cleo in the home of Auntie Winnie played by Brig Bennett and the shadowy insecure Eve whom Josephine Samson makes you undulate between feeling sorry for, worried for and irritated by, we see the layers of trauma FGM can have on its victims. The interesting aspect of this play for me in how it is addressing the issue of FGM is that Cleo comes across as a strong minded, very London, quite hard character in short not ‘victim-like’ at all. This helps to push to the forefront the fact that FGM happens in the UK in London and that those who have had FGM could be someone you know and crack jokes with not just a distant seeming person on an awareness poster.


Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams [c] Lara Genovese, Naiad Photography Bullet Hole by Gloria Williams [c] Lara Genovese, Naiad Photography

The character of Auntie Winnie, to some degree, provides the voice and perhaps a point of view from those that do not see a problem with FGM, women who see it as a part of the culture, a rite of passage, a necessity. Within some of the reasoning the argument is that men like a ‘tight hole,’ a ‘bullet hole’. Yet Eve’s story would question this logic when she speaks of her experience with her husband.


Bullet Hole is a play worth seeing and then discussing and exploring the themes further after, something any good play inspires you to do

Williams valiantly takes a position in this very contentious issue and aims to address important aspects of a practice that has been criminalised yet continues to take place globally. While I did feel there were perhaps a few too many issues trying to be explored in this production and in the time given it is definitely a good foundation for further development.


That, I imagine, is the purpose of Fringe to try, test, develop and build to give space to new voices. Bullet Hole is a play worth seeing and then discussing and exploring the themes further after, something any good play inspires you to do – as the theatre is above a pub it provides the perfect environment to do so.



Info: Bullet Hole is at the Etcetera Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe Festival until 6 August 2017 / tickets £5 see listing  / book tickets / watch interview with Gloria Williams on London Live


join our mailing list
* indicates required
Get regular updates on what's happening in the world of African-Caribbean theatre and win theatre tickets.

ENTER YOUR DETAILS BELOW: