Blackbird

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 12, 2019 13:18

Blackbird

By Sonja Methoxha

TIRANA, July 11- Last night at the National Experimental Theatre “Kujtim Spahivogli” was premiered a two-characters drama titled Blackbird, written by Scottish playwright David Harrower. The attention grabbing piece treats the sensitive and taboo subject of pedophilia.

Peter, previously named Ray and masterfully performed by Alfred Trebicka, had a relationship with a 12 year old girl for over three months when he was 41 years old, with whom he also sexually abused. Fifteen years later the girl, Una, geniously acted by Laura Nezha, finds him to confront him in order to settle her psychological disputes. The drama focuses on their discussion, walks on the past, descriptions of scenes from their relationship, and detailed aftermath experiences after their first sexual intercourse. The girl’s parents find out and Ray gets convicted to prison. 

Una goes through a handful of public shaming and psychologists who were trying to help her lead a normal life after this trauma. She nevertheless admits on stage that she hated her life in the past fifteen years. Although psychologists told Una that Ray albeit Peter sexually abused with her, she still fondly remembered their days together and thus was still dubious whether hers was just another case of pedophilia. However, she is also aggravated with the fact that she is still hung back to that moment and unable to move on, while Ray is moving on normally with his life and seems to have forgotten all about it.

Thus she searches for Ray to find out. After long, awkward confrontation and debates, Ray assures her that she has been the only 12 year old he has ever dealt with and that he loved her, as she was “more grown that myself, you knew more about love than me or the woman I was dating [then].” 

Una explains her experience with the doctors and everyone she faced on detail. She explained her psychological traumas and inability to cope with this betrayal from her silly love of a 12 year-old, reasoning how pathetic and utterly wrong it was that Ray went along with it but didn’t call on her parents once Una started sending him love letters. But Ray also starts to describe his emotions for her, how he loved her, how he saw how Una’s parents left her alone with herself, he described their games, and his perspective about the night of their first intercourse, on which everything was found out and finished. 

Thus the play tries to explore a multitude of viewpoints to this difficult conversation. Director to this play Kico Londo said this play has a sexual and psychological tension which seeks to arise a debate beyond the black-and-white law that defines victim and abuser (although there is abuse). But “it is a profound autopsy of the entire society, family, the father and mother, the woman, the courts, psychologists, cops, neighbours,” as Londo said in an interview. What he wants to encourage is dialogue, as the play itself and its characters seek answers from dialogue, because Londo himself deems the Albanian society as a society which doesn’t dialogue. 

Nevertheless, even though for a moment people might be fooled into thinking that Ray might have really loved Una for a moment, he lied to her that he has been with an older woman for seven years, because in the end he is visited by a child of 12 or 13 with whom he is allegedly in a relationship. Una in that moment sees Ray’s lying face, and he also ragedly asks her to leave as he is done with her. Thus is Ray just an abusive sexual perpetrator, or a mentally ill person who cannot see through his wrong actions, which aren’t only lawfully flawed, but also morally deformed? 

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Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 12, 2019 13:18