Theatre review: Drowning, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

At a time when life expectancy in the UK is beginning to fall following severe spending cuts and several Fringe shows toy with the idea that the unloved elderly might be the targets of humanity’s next holocaust, the story of the Lainz Angels of Death is a chilling one.

Drowning, Pleasance Courtyard (venue 33)

Drowning, Pleasance Courtyard * * *

In 1991, four nurses in the Austrian town of Lainz were charged with murdering 49 of their elderly patients, although it’s now thought that the real death toll was closer to 200; and in her new play for Dark Lady Co of Los Angeles, writer Jessica Ross seeks to construct a plausible account of their motives.

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On a stage furnished mainly with four large white baths, Ross therefore wastes no time in indicating that the women are carrying huge amounts of anger, which as wives, mothers and nurses they are not expected to express; one is a severely battered wife, one has been abandoned by her husband for a younger model, one has been sexually abused by her stepfather, and one, the ringleader Waltraud, may have been a psychopath from childhood.

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Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Juliet & Romeo, Dance Base, Edinburgh

JOYCE MCMILLAN

Until 26 August