Theatre review: Raft
Theatre review: Raft

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Raft, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd ★★★ This gently meandering parable is like an existential Huckleberry Finn or a riverbound Waiting For Godot. The “action” takes place on a humble raft at some undefined point on a slow journey. Our two female protagonists have nothing but time to ruminate …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Raft, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd

★★★

This gently meandering parable is like an existential Huckleberry Finn or a riverbound Waiting For Godot.

The “action” takes place on a humble raft at some undefined point on a slow journey. Our two female protagonists have nothing but time to ruminate on their fastidious routines, the changing landscape around them (evocatively described), their beliefs (held more in anticipation than conviction) and their destination – “forward home”, as opposed to “back home” – with a mix of watchfulness, hope and apprehension. “Though we don’t know where we are, we are never lost,” they contend. Are they drifting or adrift?

As in Godot, their hermetic realm is breached when they haul in an unexpected catch, a drowning man whose rescue brings them the community they crave, but also disagreements, temptations, jealousies and, finally, a sense of comfort and acceptance even though, most crucially, their “assurance in the river and the vessel” is rocked by his revelations, forcing them to leap or linger.

Through a combination of intelligent writing and committed performances, Raft engages thoughtfully with how we make sense of our environment, define our aspirations and handle life’s heavy weather.

Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40), until 29 August, 2:30pm

Published in The Scotsman on 25 August 2015

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