IN the world's biggest international festival of the arts, what better

than a play about the relationship between the war in Central Europe and

the theatre? But I think playwright Allan Sharpe has missed the point.

His ironic drama, about a Sarajevan theatre being turned into a

hospital, gives rise to a semi-focused bread-and-circuses kind of


Fifth Estate's production varies from scenes of gripping emotional

intensity to others of plain preposterousness and still others that seem

more like Casualty with guns.

But a fascinating aspect of the real Sarajevo is that the theatre

still survives, not as a miracle cure or a school for disguise, as

Sharpe seems to have it, but as a vital method of communication against

terrible odds. And that is surely a phenomenon worthy of closer