I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Celeste Raspanti

Archbishop High School

Church Hill Studio

From 17 August 2012 to 20 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

It’s always exciting to discover a piece of theatre at the Fringe that takes you by complete surprise by its sheer power to move you and performances that are so skilfully presented with total commitment and belief from the actors.

Archbishop Jordan High School comes from Alberta in Canada and this young company’s I Never Saw Another Butterfly by Celeste Raspanti is an outstanding, heart-rending story.

The subject matter is the harrowing account of the children who lived and attended school in the Terezin ghetto during World War II.

The story is told through the diary entries of Raja, a superb performance by Abby Koshka, and this large, disciplined cast performed with a confidence and assurance that belies their ages.

It’s simply set with projections of the period and black ribbons that were a metaphor for the oppressive advancing Nazi regime and the entrapment of the Jews as the trains left for Auschwitz.

There were many commanding individual performances and strong, stylised ensemble work.

Sensitively directed and with an emotive score that underpinned the production, this was one of my hits of the Fringe.