By Ruth Fingret. Brave New Word Theatre. Comber Street Studios Paddington. November 15 – 25, 2017

Tucked inside a narrow gallery, the audience is pinned to the stark white wall as the drama unfolds so close you can reach and touch it.

When one of the characters stomped on a can it rebounded into a spectator's leg.

The narrow confines was a brilliant setting for intersecting interrogations. You felt on edge waiting for some heads to be cracked.

Craig ( David Woodland) is an immigration officer questioning Hajir (Eli Saad) about his application for asylum in Australia.

At the same time Police Constable Catherine (Hannah Raven) is interrogating Jason (Joshua McElroy) about an armed robbery.

Craig has a double dose of stress as he is the father of Jason and also has a troubled wife Vicky (Katherine Shearer) to handle.

Both interviewees struggle to tell the complete truth and the tension rises to boiling point.

The drama reaches a crescendo when Hajir turns the table on the immigration officer sensing his own turmoil at home.

Director Richard Hilliar deftly plays the intersecting characters off each other as writer Ruth Fingret draws parallels between the two scenarios.

The stand out performer was Jason McElroy as the troubled snarling son. His portrayal was electric.

Asylum is a powerful and emotional night of theatre.

David Spicer

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter, buy our latest print edition or find a Performing Arts book at Book Nook.