Sabina Kogovšek /
Darjan Mihajlović Cerar
Pomona is the title of a new British play written in 2014. It is set in the underworld, in the dark periphery of society. Pomona is a mythically surreal vision of society, written in the genre of thriller by Alistair McDowall who ranks as one of the most exciting new British playwrights.
Ollie, a young girl, who embarks on a search for her missing twin sister, gets caught in a sequence of events that pull her into a secret, concrete heart of the city, called Pomona. In the underground space of a contemporary city all paths come to a dead end, and give rise to various new ones. McDowall toys with the idea that there are secret worlds in every city centre (in his case, the city of Manchester). This is a fairly common sci-fi theme. However, McDowall develops it by a clever introduction of a role-play, inspired by horror stories by the American author H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), known as »the father of modern horror genre.«
"McDowall has created a world that functions at its best in the medium of theatre. His dramatic structure involves means to explore and emphasize its inherent theatrical specifics. Pomona is characterized by an idiosyncratic rhythm, form and a necessary cast dynamics that is a rarity in contemporary British playwriting. It presents a longed-for challenge to theatre-makers. Its original idea enraptured British theatre goers and critics alike at its world premiere in 2014. Pomona is like a pulse, extended and fractured, long lasting and never ending. All that is bad is true, and the city can be a truly hellish site. The detective story that evolves in front of the audience follows a schizophrenic sequence of events. Ideas are dispersed in a highly deliberate and tense manner."
In his meticulously structured play, McDowall makes use of his expressive power of expression, and by doing so exposes a dark and pessimistic world in which values are debatable, and in which lonely individuals crop rotate in meaningless circles. Pomona is a legitimate portrayal of urban society, written in the genre of the 21st century horror story.