Vault review: Intruder/Intruz

Arriving at the Vault Festival, Remi Rachuba’s play Intruder/Intruz shows how he followed his dream to become an actor, almost derailed by a vicious and unprovoked attack.

Remi has a story to tell. We meet him standing in a semi-circle of shoes (both casual and formal), which becomes his stage and means of bringing different characters to life.

Once an EAL/English as an Additional Language teacher plagued by cruel school nicknames, he shows us how his journey took him from Warsaw to Glasgow, the ‘intruder’ always one step behind.

Production photo for Intruder

The show grows from curses and abusive terms written on a flipchart to a sequence of scenes in dual language but always rendered understandable by the actor’s committed, energetic, and honest prformance.

With atmospheric lighting and scenes that are both physically and emotionally tense alternating with lighter moments, we remain engaged in Remi’s story throughout.

His sense of being an outsider, his worries about body and professional image, and his financial frustrations are all relatable. As a solo show, Intruder/Intruz works hard to make its plot coherent and believable.

Rachuba himself is a likeable performer and narrator, comfortable with both black humour and vulnerability. His work is visceral, open, tense, and full of movement, whether dancing, fighting, or portraying a whale.

Production photo for Intruder

Intruder/Intruz is probably not a show for everyone – you have to do some work to keep up – but I found myself completely invested in it from the very start and appreciated the clever writing of its twists and turns.

This show was the recipient of the Vault Festival Pick of Summerhall Award, shortlisted for Adrian Pagan Playwriting Award at the King’s Head Theatre, and in the final shortlist in BBC Writersroom Drama.

You can watch Intruder/Intruz‘s final performance at the Network Theatre tonight (29 Jan) at 7.45pm. Tickets here.