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Rat In The Skull, which opened before a small audience in the Studio Theater of the Annenberg Center last night, delivers an intense and intriguing portrayal of the violent and seemingly unresolvable conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. The play dramatizes the interrogation of a suspected member of the Irish Republican Army by an Irish police officer, also dealing with the tragic inner torment experienced by fellow countrymen plagued by Northern Ireland's ongoing violence. Performed by four students from Edinburgh University participating in an exchange program, the production is highlighted by captivating performances from all of the actors. Toby Gough gave a rich and emotional performance of the IRA suspect, often including subtle changes in his facial expressions to indicate his character's desperation. David Campton played the frustrated Irish police officer who tries to break his opponent down into confessing. Campton offered an extremely successful performance and explores the full range of possibilities for his character. Chris Hoben and Paul Gruber both provided strong supporting performances of London police officers. Unfortunately, at times the Irish accents and slang made the production difficult to follow, and it required a lot of concentration to understand the dialogue. After the show, the actors invited the audience to discuss the performance and the situation in Northern Ireland. The show will run tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available and are on sale for $5 at the Annenberg Center box office.

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