So the Edinburgh Festival is once again in full swing and the streets and venues are full of countless hours of absolute rubbish. Every year one hopes to find a sleeper hit, or at the very least, not feel cheated of time and money when booking and attending shows at random. (the fankly awful ICU Dramasoc “performing” what should have been Sarah Kane’s mesmeric “Crave” last year remaining one of my worst experiences in a theatre)
First up, The Emma Thompson funded semi-verbatum drama Fair Trade at the Pleasance is the very definition of what contemporary, issue driven theatre should be, managing as it does to convey the immediacy and horror of the subject of sexual slavery and trafficking of women without lapsing into gratuity or feeling the need to pummel the audience into submission. The two young leads, Anna Holbek & carry their performances with an admirable maturity and by the end, their roles as vehicles for the testimonies of real victims of trafficking is augmented by their very tangible vulnerability. The role of the system which sustains and makes possible the deception, imprisonment and eventual abandonment of victims is handled without resort to preaching, and the simple mantra of the lack of alternative for many of these women, at every stage of their ordeals rings true throughout: “What would you have done?”
More reviews to follow when I can find the time.