Theatre review: Play for September
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Play For September, at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), review by David Pollock
This won’t be the first Fringe play thus year which attempts to wrestle with the difficult and borderline sensationalist subject of underage sex scandals, but Olivia Firth’s strong three-hander moves ahead of the pack with its devotion to character, and to building a sense of believability, rather than a barrage of shock tactics.
Watching from the audience there is a feeling of helplessness as 15-year-olds Elle and Kay respond to the former’s ongoing relationship with teacher Mr Bode, who likes the girls to call him Mike and give him hugs.
Elle is nervous but excited, and her desire to continue receiving gifts and flirting lightly with the older man as if he were a schoolyard crush contributes to the silence of Kay, sulky and marginalised, but strong in her conviction that wrong is being done even as she is unsure how to stop it.
Mike is no black-hatted villain either, a typically stressed and bedraggled young educator whose skill for desperate, selfish manipulation of impressionable minds is insidious.
A strong and confident portrait of friendship and the way it can pull in the wrong direction, this piece cuts to the heart of how layer upon layer of normalised abuse can leave deep scars waiting to be ripped open.
Originally appeared in The Scotsman