by Edward Bond

Performed: Jul 2006

A production in association with Mouth Youth Theatre, Halesworth

BOND believes that violence in our society is a result of people reacting to an alien environment. It is not a function of human nature, but of human societies, he argues.

Animals are violent when they are threatened and have no alternative – a last resort, used in crisis. Its value for “primitive” animals is clear – it helps to ensure the continuation of the species. But for humans, Bond argues, the opposite is true; violence threatens the continuation of our species.

The playwright’s interest in violence is not as a voyeur. He believes the idea that humans are necessarily violent is a political device, the modern equivalent of the doctrine of original sin. Such violence occurs in situations of injustice where there is a threat to human dignity.

“There will always be minor human aggressions; even in Utopia people will fall in love with the wrong person, forget proper gratitude, lose their temper; but whenever there is serious and constant violence, that is a sign of the presence of some major social injustice.

“Violence can’t be contained by an equal or even greater force of counter-violence; it can’t be sublimated in games; it can’t be controlled by a drug in the water supply; it will only stop when we live in a just society in which all people are equal in all significant respects,” he says.

Saved has the dubious distinction of being the last play to be prosecuted by the Lord Chamberlain – largely because of a scene which struck at the myth that children in our society would be protected.

As we know from the news media, violence against children – both physical and psychological – is unfortunately not rare.

Saved is a play about the young, disillusioned and emotionally deprived underclass of a loveless society – a kind of society which, according to Bond, breeds violence.


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