FRINGE REVIEW – More Light Please by Theatr Praga (Universal Arts)

*****

8 – 29 August (not 10, 17 or 24)
1445-1545, Universal Arts

A lone and seldom-heard voice is given a stage in More Light Please by Theatr Praga in Universal Arts’ Mysterious Theatre.

Natalia is a Polish emigrant, leaving her homeland for an imagined optimistic life of happiness with her father, who is working in Dublin.

Co-written by its star, Natalia Kostrzewa and based on her own experiences, this brave and personal piece follows the young woman as she discovers the realities of life to be a bit more harsh than her dreams.

With moments of raw emotion and heartfelt pain, More Light Please is staged simply, using a shoe store shelf as its only set; the piled boxes – full and empty – being used metaphorically to represent Natalia’s hopes and fears.

The increasingly bleak emotions are portrayed well, and underscored by a soundtrack of songs by The Tiger Lillies – here, the falsetto tones of Martyn Jacques are used effectively as the thoughts and voices within Natalia’s own head as she swings from happiness to desperation.

In this intentionally downbeat production, we are given a rare glimpse into the realities behind its premise: that fear and loneliness are as much the trappings of the individual as they are about where you happen to live.

Ticket information is available on the Universal Arts website.

Review by Keith D

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