Theatre review: Dropped

Like a gender-reversed Waiting For Godot with added guns, this new play by Katy Warner sees two characters locked in isolated expectation of an arrival.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

In this case, it’s their rescue from an unidentified Middle Eastern warzone; a fictional one, for the moment, because the Australian government (the piece showed at the Adelaide Fringe earlier this year and was awarded a prize for Best Local Theatre Production) has only recently allowed women to serve in combat roles. It’s a timely subject, the British Government’s own agreement in this regard coming just two months ago.

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So what effect does witnessing the violence of war have upon women? It’s kind of tricky to tell in this case, for we’re given the strong impression that Sarah Cullinan and Natalia Sledz’ characters have seen the harm of an infant child and are reacting to it in traumatic fashion as mothers (or potential mothers) themselves. There’s a crying baby in the room, but is this just a fiction concocted by their traumatised minds? It’s hard to tell, such is the sense of dream-like indistinctness conjured by David McVicar’s direction; a style which, you feel, may accurately conjure the confusion of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but which doesn’t open up these two nonetheless well-played characters to an entirely convincing degree.

Until 28 August. Today 1pm.