Digital review: September (The Space)

Fringe venue The Space must be commended for a lively and brave programme of work that always intrigues and surprises, and in particular for their commitment to streaming their shows for audiences who can’t easily visit the venue to enjoy.

September is a new play written and directed by Tereza Briggs-Novaes. It centres on a couple, Isabel and John, who experience both the 1973 coup in Chile and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 2001.

The action slips seamlessly between both locations and times, aided by projections and sound. This is a complex script enhanced by tightly choreographed physical movement (directed by Annabel Rutherford).

Surrounded by boxes, there is always a sense of running away, of being unable to settle, of living with second best. Isabel wants her freedom from the guilt of her past – the fate of her friend, Ana Maria, lost in the Chilean chaos.

With an excellent performance from Stephanie Ellyne as Isabel, this could be the story of anyone living in a space where they don’t belong. There is a sense of measured panic and of lost opportunity in both time periods.

Promotional image for September

Bianca Beneduzi as Ana Maria and John Terence as John have some highly charged scenes together as political and personal vulnerabilities are addressed. However, I was more invested in the story of the two women when their world was young.

Marking the anniversary of both coup and terror, September highlights a story many of us either don’t know or rarely think about. In 2001, some of us watched the second plane enter the towers which dominated New York, watched them crumble.

The use of period music anchors the action and adds an emotional pull, as this exploration of politics and fanaticism and its impact on the typical everyday person comes to its conclusion.

September runs at The Space until 17 Sep (details here) with a streaming option available.

****

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