Christy Hall and Matt Lutz
Paradise (The Vault)
The struggles of the women during the Second World War are a popular topic for Fringe shows, although most tend to focus on the struggles of front-line nurses, or women who pine for their men in terrifying battles abroad.
Your's, Isabel instead looks at the life of a young woman who finds herself at odds with the traditional roles open to her and the freedom she sees in working for the war effort. The story is told to us in the form of letters between Isabel and her fiancé, and later husband, Nick. We are led through their romance and marriage, through struggles and happy times until inevitably Nick is called away to war after Pearl Harbor.
Throughout these letters, the audience is shown glimpses of the free spirit and burgeoning independence growing inside Isabel, and her commitment to working for herself while Nick tries to convince her to be happy with his narrow view of what a wife and woman's life should be.
The play is performed steadily and with a lot of heart by Matt Lutz and Christy Hall, who also penned the piece. It's through their short monologues, which occasionally cross-pollenate each other with some resonance, that we learn the story. Through some touching scenes, and realistically stoic moments, the play contrasts the fluctuating emotions and ideals held by both characters through to the fittingly open and inviting finale.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan