by Danusia Trevino.
Russian Arts Theatre & Studio at Gryphon 2 (Venue 109) The Point Hotel 34 Bread St EH3 9AF To 20 August 2011.
Runs 1hr 10min No interval.
TICKETS: 07531 392 327
Review: Mark Courtice 11 August 2011
An immigrant’s story that’s not worth migrating towards.
In a once in a lifetime chance, a young girl from a Polish farm gets to go on holiday in New York, awaking an ambition to live there permanently. For her the attractions of America are summed up in the miraculous bread that stays soft for ages. Eventually she makes it, and sets out alone as an immigrant in a country of immigrants.
A seemingly idyllic marriage isn’t, however, enough and she cuts loose as a punk, taking to art, drugs and alcoholism.
As a skewed vision of the American dream this should have some power, but it’s hard to become engaged with it. The script and production seem obvious and lumbering.
Despite an energetic and honest performance from writer Danusia Trevino, it’s hard to like or care about the characters that people this story. Perhaps it’s because she gives the audience little credit, so each person is a physical tic, not a character. The journey, both physical and psychological, is painstakingly shown, with little for the audience’s imagination to do.
The production is similarly literal. Little models that look a bit thrown together and add little in the way of context, show locations. The looming presence of the tomatoes on which her father planned to make their fortune does work however. In fact the bitter picture of the life she left behind in Poland tells us something, and is much the most successful part of a show that doesn’t quite live up to its ambitions.
Performed by Danusia Trevino.
Director Aleksey Burago.