Rotterdam at the Arts Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles

This is very modern theatre, there is no curtain going up. As the audience take their seats the actors are already on stage, dancing, working at their laptops. Could this mean we are invading their privacy or are we welcomed guests? Jon Brittain has written a brilliant and very well researched play about transitioning. In this instance its Fiona becoming Adrian played with incredible pathos and understanding of the power of body language from feminine to masculine by Anna Martine Freeman whose totally immersion in the role makes for mesmerising theatre. This is also a sensational study in human emotions and the need to express one’s sexuality and the cost of upsetting your nearest and dearest; and where your upbringing shapes you as an adult. Alice Mccarthy as Alice is exquisite, her expertise that she brings to this roller coaster of a role where the impact that her lesbian lover wanting to become a man is at times heart-wrenching and at others hilarious. The tenderness she brings to the role is incredible and demonstrates to great effect the affection that can happen between two human beings. Supported by Ed Eales-White as Josh and Ellie Morris as a very funny Lelani, both bring acutely charismatic detail to their respective parts. Rotterdam sets out to put across a vibrant and positive message about the transgender community. Director Donnacadh O’Briain has put together an estatic production and where a true sense of accomplishment should be felt by all concerned.


Rotterdam runs until the 15th July at the Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB. Box office 020 7836 8463

To Top