The North Wall arts centre continues to programme some of the best contemporary touring theatre available and their latest coup was to host one of the most lauded productions to come out of this year’s Edinburgh Festival — The Events by David Greig. The ‘events’ refer to a shocking shooting spree in a seaside village unleashed against a community choir by a lone gunman.

This play explores the shock, bewilderment and anger of the aftermath through the eyes of traumatised local priest and choir leader Claire, played by Neve McIntosh. Her heartfelt performance is passionate, intelligent, and perfectly controlled as the time-shifting structure of the play interweaves her story before the attack with that of the very different Claire who emerges from it. The other actor in the piece, Rudi Dharmalingam, plays the disturbed teenage gunman and several smaller roles. As The Boy, he gives a well-judged and finely balanced portrayal that shines light into unimaginable darkness but is completely devoid of sensationalism.

Onstage throughout is the choir — singing out with passion both the dark and the light undercurrents that are at the heart of the story. In every venue of the tour local choirs are recruited to perform. On the night I went, Oxford’s Sea Green Singers and Sounds Fun performed with great accomplishment. Not only were they in great voice but many took on small acting vignettes too.

This cross-over of performers from choir to characterisations was an inspired touch from director Ramin Gray as it evoked a palpable community populated by individuals. As the Repetiteur, Magnus Gilljam directed both the blocking and the musical aspects of the choir perfectly. He pulled the whole piece together seamlessly as they flew through John Browne’s eloquent score with its wildly contrasting emotions. The play ends on a strong note of compassion, acceptance, and moving on, as choir, cast and audience join in a final song that brings the community together to heal.