‘Rotterdam’ by Jon Brittain
Theatre 503 until 21st November
It is safe to say that Theatre 503 is becoming a hub for hot new writing and Jon Brittain’s play ‘Rotterdam’ exploring gender transitioning certainly doesn’t fall short.
A talented creative team lead by Director, Donnacadh O’Brian in hand with Designer Ellan Parry convincingly take us straight to the heart of Alice and Fiona’s ‘Ikea-inspired’ home in Rotterdam where we watch their relationship unfold at lightning speed.
First we discover that Alice (Alice McCarthy) is going through the ‘should she-shouldn’t shes’ on coming out to her parents when, moments later, Fiona (Anna Martine) reveals that he wants to, ‘…stop trying to be a woman’ and start living as the man he’s always been: Adrian ‘and I hasten to add, as soon as possible’.
The rollercoaster starts here and along the way we meet Josh played with great sensitivity and wit by Ed Eales-White and the ‘say-it-as-it-is’ Lelani played by the talented Jessica Clark. Sparks truly start to fly between Adrian (Martine) and Alice (McCarthy) both actors as talented as each other who at times drew me in so much I believed I was infringing somewhat on their private conversations (in a good way of course!)
These four characters, diverse as they are, are written so intricately and played with such vigour by the cast that we recognise them as people from our own lives. Therefore it doesn’t matter if we don’t know exactly what the characters are going through (believe me we learn!) but we can relate to the pain and suffering they feel.
That’s the beauty of this piece. The very heart of ‘Rotterdam’ should remind us that no matter who we are, we experience fear, love, loneliness and heartbreak as part of our human condition; we have, do and will always unfalteringly feel and relate – no matter what walks of life we come from.
A real pleasure.
© Kate Winter 2015