Waterloo East Theatre
Reviewed – 31st October 2017
“Their stories creatively flow in and out of each other, hinting at connections”
With the current refugee crisis having all but disappeared from mainstream media in recent months, this play is a timely reminder that emigration and people fleeing wretched situations is not a new phenomena. It also highlights how those refugees are treated by those they meet, both kindly and less so, and how this is not a new comparison.
Waterloo East Theatre is a central London quirky fringe theatre where you can hear the overground trains in the rafters. This adds to the portrayal of these believable stories about refugees and the theme of ‘in transit’ which the play focuses on.
Matilda Velevitch’s Three Mothers feels like three one woman plays combined on stage to great success. Their stories creatively flow in and out of each other, hinting at connections during the narrative, yet without giving the game away. All whilst maintaining audience curiosity as to how these stories, from such different walks of life, will eventually intertwine.
Strong characterisation from all three actresses (Clare Perkins, Roberta Kerr, Victoria Brazier) provides a stable platform for this play spanning continents, decades and generations. Clare Perkins particularly stood out for me at maintaining a strong stage presence throughout, and I found my eyes drawn to her in quieter moments elsewhere.
The acting was strong enough to not need the unseen characters be represented by unnecessary voiceovers. Contrasting and simple set design (Jane Linz Roberts) helped not overcrowd this small stage, and allowed the actors and their stories to be the focus. A couple of moments of less technically fluid light and sound changes needed a bit of touching up but can be forgiven for a first night.
‘Hope is not a strategy’ is echoed throughout this affecting play, and I questioned this motivational phrase. What do people do when at the desperate end of making decisions? These Three Mothers demonstrated how they turned misfortune and hope in to life and thankfulness.
It is a shame this show wasn’t sold out as it is well worth the fringe theatre priced ticket, and more.
Reviewed by Lucy Marsh
Images courtesy of Matilda Velevitch
is at Waterloo East Theatre until 12th November