FringeReview UK 2017
Is there a suicide gene? Alice Birch’s simultaneous triptych of three generations of women traumatised and depressed is so formally novel that its psychological heft gets subsumed in the sheer force of three narratives jarring for our attention. You must see this play; its dark releases a shaft of terrible light.
If you want theatre to change your life a little and wonder where our DNA and urges trek to, you could do infinitely worse than shiver here.
On a moored barge Natasha Langridge re-enacts her own In Memory of Leaves updated from a run last year to include this year’s tumultuous events. This is a fine, necessary work inevitably in progress. Let it settle in the water a bit more, and glitter.
Minefield is for its unique and singularly consummate exploration of its themes, outstanding, in a class apart from any show you’ll see, perhaps even of Arias. Her work must be acknowledged here now.
Simon Stephens has been exploring music and now dance in this piece inspired by his collaboration with choreographer Hofesh Schechter. Maureen Beattie’s intensely committed central performance is worth absorbing, the ensemble make flesh as much of Stephens’ text as could be asked. This feels like a text that needs to risk pushing through more specificity without fear of losing its suggestiveness.
If Rob Drummond’s /Bullet Catch/ charmed and alarmed at NT’s The Shed and Brighton Festival in 2013, here Drummond starts his odyssey of political immersion in a prison cell; for throwing a punch at a neo-Nazi. Opening three days after the Charlottesville murder, the timing’s eerily prescient and more charged than even Drummond might have imagined.
It’s good to welcome the return of this cage. Franco-Uruguayan Sergio Blanco’s Thebes Land drops back into Arcola’s Studio 1 after its acclaimed run in 2016. It’s where this will go, what both prisoner Martin and writer T are left with, that begins to shine out of this extraordinary, ground-breaking work.