The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy: The Deliverance @ Assembly Roxy

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Photograph: 'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC

Verdict: Highly Recommended

Genre: Drama

Venue: Assembly Roxy

Website: Stellar Quines

Company: Stellar Quines Theatre Company

Lowdown

‘A woman struggles to fulfil her dying mother’s last wish: to see the son torn from her at a young age. She goes in search of him and the truth about their past.’

Review

Stellar Quines Theatre Company present The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Each show can be viewed as stand alone pieces but they are interlinked to create a powerful trilogy. Written by Jennifer Tremblay, translated by Stellar Quines, and performed by Maureen Beattie The Deliverance follows the woman trying to fulfill her mothers dying wish of seeing her son one last time.

A dying woman wants only one thing, to have her son with her as she dies. Her daughter becomes focused on making this happen, despite her own sorrows at herself and her sister not being enough she attempts to persuade her brother to come to her and fulfill this wish. In doing she we discover why the son is not there and what paths led to these final moments of a pained mother. As she explains, the child that dies or leaves becomes the centre of the family, regardless of the children who remain there will always be that open wound that nothing can fix, highlighting what a terrible fate it is to lose a child.

Beattie is able to convey complex characters and situations with ease and without creating confusion, her simple delivery is filled with nuances that provide a rich experience. She portrays a woman of serious strength who tries hard to put her family back together again as best she can yet is plagued by her own demons and her own struggles as she does so.

The church setting of chairs and candles provides a sombre atmosphere and yet there is still humour to be found, as the third installment in the Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy it is darker than the two that have proceeded it yet it is still rich with humour just more muted and tinged with sadness that radiates from Beattie as she huddles in her coat and hiking boots. Silence is used perhaps more than sound to capture the solemnity of the situation and the simplicity of this is powerful.

Childhood and memories, some of which have been twisted and poisoned, are main themes of The Deliverance along with forgiveness and mortality. Big subjects that are explored with tact and intelligence.

This review originally appeared on FringeReview and is reproduced in partnership with their permission.

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