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
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest