Camden Fringe 2019: The Net at Tristan Bates Theatre
Zoë Guzy-Sprague’s The Net quite literally splits the small stage into two opposing sides to reveal the way in which borders are woven by patriarchy, prejudice and fear. Through the stories of four women who stand on either side of the net, the play shows that both sides are victim to the same powers who keep the characters bound to an unbearably hot and inhospitable place, carrying the burden of ideology that will not serve any of them. On one side stand grandmother (Sue Moore) and granddaughter (Marta da Silva), who weave the net to keep out imagined enemies, but this activity keeps them confined to the isolated space as guardians to a barren land. On the other, a young mother (Yvonne Wan), who is forced to abandon her own baby girl, assumes the responsibility of a child (Melaina Pecorini), whose mother probably died in the fire that burnt her house.
Through flashbacks and stories that echo across the bodies of the four women, director Samara Gannon’s interpretation adds an interesting dimension to a complex, subtly nuanced and desperately exhausted narrative of war, migration and exploitation. The Net feels like it ticks off topics from a check-list that explores issues of global warming, war, the refugee crisis, patriarchy, race and land, but an ill-conceived plot makes the story distant and unrelatable. A simple set design by Sally Somerville-Woodiwis and Ruth Sullivan’s minimalist sound design, which could have complemented a personalised and intimate narrative, instead leave much for the wanting. The monotonous hysteria that exhibits Guzy-Sprague’s imagining of war and migration makes this short show an arduous task of counting down the minutes until its end.
Photo: Ewa Ferdynus
The Net is at Tristan Bates Theatre from 13th until 17th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
For further information about Camden Fringe 2019 visit the festival website here.