Meet Me at Dawn by The Traverse Theatre Company at The Traverse: Edinburgh International Festival Review

My Summerhall Fringe was brilliant, but so too were my Traverse experiences.  With the exception of Party Game by Blue Mouth Inc, which mis-stepped (pun intended) a little, we were fed a great diet of work.

This 4**** show is an intense experience and so created an almost perfect set of emotional experiences; alongside Adam 5*****, Lilith: The Jungle girl 4.5****, Nina 4****, and Party Game 2.5**.

This is the Traverse’s foray into the official Festival and the EIF is to be congratulated for giving ‘The Trav’ this opportunity to impress on the ‘big stage’, in their own home. with their resident director, Orla O’Laughlin, on board – she grows in stature steadily.  I expect this show to feature heavily in the CATS next year.

This is a big, profound piece of theatre, centred on grief.  Its story takes its time to unveil itself as a gay couple (it later transpires) are washed up on a fairly remote island after a boating accident that at first appears to be simply a foolhardy act, but gradually it emerges the consequences of the accident are far greater.

It transpires the accident was indeed fatal and this remote island is an island of the mind where the two lovers are granted a wish.  That one so often said on death beds.  “if only we could have one more day together.”

They do.

But, one day?  One fucking day?  Why not a year?  Why not a fucking new lifetime?

The additional day doesn’t play out perfectly. and in a series of time shifts it’s tricky to decide really which time is now, which then and which in the future.

It’s a bold complex theme, brilliantly directed, designed and lit.

The central performances of Robyn (Neve McIntosh) and Helen (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) are electric.  They revel in the depth of Zinnie Harris’s dense plot and shine light on all the key emotional triggers.

I could hear several sobs coming from the audience as the play reaches its finale.

Great, grown up theatre.




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