Edinburgh Reviews: Nirbhaya (Assembly), London Road / Sea Point (Assembly)

Nirbhaya, Assembly on the Mound ✭✭✭✭✭

Yael Farber’s Nirbhaya has been the talk of the festival, and rightly so. It is quietly devastating, a testament to the power of theatre to change the world. Because, regardless of whether Nirbhaya leads you directly to the agent of change (it doesn’t), it leads you instead to a place of astonishing pure emotion, raw anger, and excruciating pain – and if that doesn’t propel you to a place of change then nothing will. Delivered as testament by performers recounting their own stories, Nirbhaya is both a chorus of stories and an individual story. This is not a story that happens far away, this is here, this is everywhere.we are all Nirbhaya, Farber instructs us. Nirbhaya is our story. This is theatre that you want to take to every school, every church hall, every playhouse in the UK, no, the world.

***** (5 stars)
Runs until 26th August
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London Road / Sea Point, Assembly ✭✭✭

Sometimes drama need not be an overwhelming, thrilling ride. Sometimes drama is in the minutiae of our daily lives. Rosa and Stella’s story is compellingly told, with a real sense of the passage of time and a deepening of love between two women, drawn together by simple circumstance and held together by love. While both Ntombi Makhutsi and Robyn Scott turn in elegant, carefully precise performances, it is Scott’s turn as the affected, idiosyncratic Rosa that impresses itself indelibly on the mind. Beautiful, simple and affectionate.

*** (3 stars)
Runs until 26th August
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