MARA is a dynamic, multidisciplinary piece, celebrating women through time by means of sound and electro-acoustic music, performed live by The New Victorians. Incorporating animated and surreal acting performances there was more to get from the show, than simply the music, which were evocative, fresh and disturbing at times.
The New Victorians are primarily sister duo, Bettina and Philippa, who live in the small village of Bidnija, Malta, and have made music together all their lives. After playing together for their cousin’s wedding a few years ago they realised they should continue their collaboration, and now here they are at the Fringe. Critically acclaimed, they present their debut theatre piece: a story of collective outrage, personal sacrifice, defiance and hope.
Combining their talents with an all-female Maltese company we are indulged with this full ensemble this Fringe. This cast of animated performances portray inventors and scientists, to artists and activists. From the vows we make as children to the militant solidarity of political activists, MARA is somewhat of a love letter to women who have defied gender expectations. A brave family of German watchmakers risk everything to hide Jews from the Gestapo. Composer Ethel Smyth puts her personal ambitions on hold to fight with the Suffragettes. Virginia Woolf demands the power for women to shape their own histories and futures while Helen Keller breaks through the silence of being deaf and blind.
Aside from the moments where it felt like the performance dragged a little, repetitively hammering home the points, it was an intriguing and thought-provoking portrayal. With characters such as Emeline Pankhurst and Virginia Woolf at the centre of this show, there is a key message to derive from this hour. MARA is a visceral piece that centres of the celebration of women that will not be silenced, and continues to strive for equality in a world that is changing, where stories like this can be shared.
You can see MARA at Pleasance Dome from 5th – 26th August at 14:00. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com