Review – Fault Lines

August 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

✭✭✭✩✩  A triumphant trio

Fault Lines. Credit: For The Love Of Theatre Company

Fault Lines. Photo © Iain Davie

theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39)
3-23 August (odd dates)
Review by Paul Johnson

Three highly capable actresses are required for Rebecca Louise Miller’s Fault Lines, and this trio of acting graduates from Edinburgh’s Napier and QMU deliver with Honours.

Fifteen years have passed since the fateful night when, as 12-year-olds on a sleepover, a man entered the house, kidnapped, and later murdered their friend, Nina. Reunited, the childhood friends discuss how what they saw and heard during the crime and subsequent trial has affected them and shaped the divergent paths their lives have taken.

Inspired by a real-life kidnapping that shocked the US in the 1990s, this European premiere of Miller’s play is a thought-provoking glimpse of the effect on those who become caught up as the less obvious victims of a heinous crime.

Bethany (Kirsty Alexander) settles quietly into becoming a homemaker who finds comfort in her religion. But she has also made other connections. Probably the most complex of the three characters, Alexander doesn’t take the obvious ‘neurotic religious nut’ portrayal but her nicely understated performance makes Bethany all the more believable – although she could afford to slow down her delivery at times.

Kat (Corin Beattie)’s road in life takes her down the trailer park route – she just needs tattooed arms to complete the image. She married a drug-dealer and has become hard, bitter and angry. While hers is the most confrontational of the three parts, Beattie pitches it beautifully when she allows glimpses of Kat’s underlying fragility to show through.

Rachel (Kyle Haddow) remains the one most linked to the tragedy, becoming a high-profile spokeswoman for the children’s safety foundation set up in memory of their friend. Yet despite being so completely briefed in the subject on a professional level, even she fails to comprehend and deal with what they experienced. She has moved on the least, Haddow brings touching emotion to the scene where Rachel reveals her inability to maintain relationships.

Director Ian Davie allows the three women to stand around a bit too long than feels right in the early scenes. But once they have a table and chairs to sit at and move around, it begins to feel a lot more comfortable.

At this level the American accents should be faultless and these really are. Davie also ensures that the lines not only sound right, but are delivered with an understanding of why the character was saying them.

What is really striking is how effectively the actors listen and are still. And as this builds towards its ending, critical scenes are given with such beautiful emotion that many an eye in the audience was in need of being dabbed.

Quality writing and performances in a very worthwhile co-production between New Celts Productions and the For The Love Of Theatre Company.

Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Run ends: Friday 23 August
theSpace on the Mile, Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TH (Venue 39)
Performances 3-23 August (odd dates only) at 3:40pm
Tickets from: www.edfringe.com

ENDS

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