Badac Theatre, The Forgotten

Review in Issue 20-4 | Winter 2008

Taking on the Holocaust is no easy task. Especially in a one-man show. [Editor’s note: see also Cassie Werber’s review of The Factory, Badac’s larger-scale piece about the Holocaust, as seen at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe]. Looming over this single performer is the enormity of what has passed; the vast shadows of the persecuted seem poised to dwarf this lone figure.

Running on the spot, Steve Lambert plunges into a blow-by-blow narration of one man’s story. Loud, fast and packing a thousand punches it is initially a struggle to find a window of quiet to crawl into this world: a world of hard labour, humiliation and pain. Ultimately, it is the space between blows – the gentle cracking of a heart as Lambert skilfully illustrates his mother’s degradation as she is forced to strip at the point of a Nazi’s whip, and the silent courage of a child as she slips her little hand into her father’s and looks into his eyes with steadfast defiance in her own – that tell the real story: the human story in all its different colours. When Lambert paints these moments for us, we step outside our own collection of facts, figures and timelines and into the lives and hearts of these characters.

Lambert’s sheer physical force is admirable, so too is his fervent desire to communicate this story; his eye contact with the audience as unremitting as the forces that strike down upon him.

Those lurking shadows do not ever squash him down completely: in the six million victims that were massacred in the Holocaust, it was only ever lived through the eyes of single human. In this visceral and moving solo performance, lies one of these stories.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-4
p. 36