We’ll Meet in Moscow

Natalie McGrath
Traverse Theatre Company
Traverse 3

We’ll Meet in Moscow Credit: cake

In a very unorthodox year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of its figurehead theatres, the Traverse, has broadened its outlook to include presentations in many different forms.

We’ll Meet in Moscow is a 50-minute-long audio play that features a powerful monologue delivered by Maggie Bain under the direction of Shilpa T-Hyland and enhanced by a soundscape composed by Pippa Murphy.

The original inspiration for the piece occurred in 2012 when the Russian courts outlawed Moscow Pride celebrations. Never a country to do things by halves, the duration of the ban was set at 100 years.

One of its victims was protagonist Dascha, who felt her queer identity threatened and felt compelled both to speak out and write about her fears. As a direct consequence, she became a concern to the authorities and put her health, well-being and possibly even life at risk.

After outlining some of the troubles caused by the attack on the homosexual community, a poetic play moves into the region of myth or possibly dream. That is because, in an attempt to escape the worst of the repression in Moscow, Dascha heads thousands of miles east to Siberia, keen to remain within the borders of mother country but at its limits.

There, she encounters a dream lover and finds pleasure beyond belief, before the two strands of the story begin to meet in the final stages of the play.

We’ll Meet in Moscow can be unsettling and its subject matter is raw to say the least. However, it does give Natalie McGrath the opportunity to highlight an inequitable law and the pain that it has brought to the LGBTQ community in Russia.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher