Review: Eastern Star, Tara Arts

Real life events in Myanmar cast a strange tinge of Guy Slater’s play Eastern Star at Tara Arts in Earlsfield

“I just happened to be there when a revolution broke out”

With the recent imprisonment of two Reuters journalists – U Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo – for ‘violating a state secrets act’ in Myanmar, Guy Slater’s new play Eastern Star gains the kind of unsettling resonance that sits uneasily like a knot in the stomach. It introduces such a note of despair into proceedings, but also one that encourages us to look at the world as it really is, rather than the neat and tidy way we would like revolutionary politics to be tidied up.

Eastern Star revolves around the 1988 ‘Students’ Revolution that ushered in Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement and introduced the figure of Aung San Suu Kyi to widespread international acclaim. Caught up unexpectedly in events was cub reporter Christopher Gunness, working for the BBC World Service and connected to an impeccable source, lawyer U Nay Min. But whereas Gunness was able to go home and go on to have a long and lauded career, Nay Min paid a terrible price for the huge risks he decided to take. Continue reading “Review: Eastern Star, Tara Arts”