Traverse Breakfast Plays: (in search of) Tomorrow - This Elephant Speaks Ukrainian

Natalia Vorozhbyt, translated by Sasha Dugdale
Traverse Theatre
to

The Traverse Breakfast Plays always feature some of the best writing on the Fringe and this piece from Ukraine is a delight.

Despite running for under half an hour, it manages to be a state of the nation play and also present a tender view of the complicated life of Lesley Hart's Olya, a divorcee with a young daughter.

In a series of short scenes, we see her struggling to choose between a devoted man who loves her and an absent soldier whom she prefers but seems less interested.

Her daughter feels neglected and lives with Granny, who has a jaundiced view of a society that is imploding.

Considering the short running time, a vast amount is packed into a play that will make audience members understand the problems of a nation at war with Russia and possibly the results of contamination at least a little better. They will also meet a cross section of its insecure inhabitants.

One hopes that the work of Natalia Vorozhbyt is taken up by more British theatres as, on this showing, her full-length plays will be both important and rewarding.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher