Rotterdam by Jon Brittain at Trafalgar Studios


We were lucky enough to be invited to the West End transfer of the Theatre 503 success, ‘Rotterdam’, that has moved to Trafalgar studios for a month long run. Written by playwright Jon Brittain this is a very modern story examining the love between two women and what happens when reveals that they are a man inside the wrong body.

Understandably this was an extremely complex play. On the morning of new year’s eve, Alice is mulling over an email she has been trying to write for a long time: a letter announcing her sexuality to her parents. She is at first reluctant to send it, eventually allowing her girlfriend Fiona to read it. Alice’s desire to be honest about the love she has for Fiona prompts her partner to be honest about the feelings she has about her gender. Having taken so long to accept her sexuality, the idea that the person she loves, Fiona, will soon become a man is challenging, thus sparking a very interesting and insightful story.

This was an extremely well-written play. It made us laugh and also brought us to the point of tears. The central relationship between Alice and Fi was fascinating. Subtle shifts in the relationship became evident as each character grappled with coming to terms with the new situation. These shifts occurred as rapidly as Fi’s transition. Surrounding the couple are two crucial characters. One is Josh, a sibling who added a lot of the humour to the piece and is positioned interestingly in the relationship between the two women. The other is a wild young Dutch girl, Lelani, who adds an additional layer of complexity to a hugely entertaining and moving piece of theatre.

The four cast members, Alice McCarthy, Anna Martine, Jessica Clark and Ed Eales-White were exceptional. Director Donnacadh O’Brian brilliantly sculpted this modern tale. The opening pre-set was a lovely start to the piece. It is always nice to get that little bit more for getting into your seat early.

This was a modern love story that defied social norms. It was original, truthful and entirely current for today’s society. Jon Brittain has written a modern classic with this piece of theatre. We are already looking forward to his next work.

Highlight of the piece – Alice and Lelani on the ice river, Josh’s gags and the harrowing fight between brother and sister…

WIGS 5/5


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