NEWPORT Playgoers are presenting The Trial of Edward Byfleet, a dark play written by Mark Hardwidge and directed by Jes Hynes, at the Dolman Theatre from November 8-11.

Set in 2017, Edward Byfleet finds himself on trial with the fate of humanity resting with him. 

The simple set, black and white, in the small and intimate studio space, enable the audience to feel part of the proceedings, almost like a jury, judging alongside ‘The Fates’ in the form of Thebe (Catherine Morgan), Amalthea (Ann Kelly) and Metis (Holly Dawe) in an unsettling and unpredictable performance.

Edward Byfleet, played by Tyron Davies Sullivan, shows great emotion when confronted by the worst of humanity, the horrific acts and words being displayed through the Terran, a conduit through which the ‘witnesses’ can speak.The Terran, played by Jes Hynes, who manages to portray a range of characters in a convincing and unsettling way.

This is a play full of binaristic elements, good/evil, black/white, order/chaos, all in the name of balance. Edward Byfleet is a kind of

Everyman, possessing “the best and the worst” of both himself and society, his character raising questions about collective responsibility. 

Theatre is about pushing boundaries and raising questions and The Trial of Edward Byfleet certainly did this. 

Julie Benson