Theatre Review - Rewind

Rewind [Maria Falconer]

I’m not surprised Ephemeral Ensemble’s Rewind did well at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. This short, sharp shock of a show has a physicality and political edge that festival audiences tend to love.

Inspired by the fight for justice for the hundreds of thousands of people disappeared in Latin America, Rewind packs a punch. It also highlights the work of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team who exhume and identify bodies often buried in mass graves.

In Argentina alone, thousands disappeared during the “Dirty War” period (1976 to 1983) murdered by the military regime’s death squads.

The fate of Alicia (Louise Wilcox) is revealed when her bones and jacket are excavated by a forensic team. The story then rewinds and we learn that she disappeared after attending a protest.

Her mother (Eyglo Belafonte), clad in a white scarf, walks the streets with her daughter’s portrait. She comes to represent all the “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” who, since 1977, have tirelessly campaigned for the right to know what happened to their children and to bury them.

This one-hour devised drama combines physical performance and live music (Alex Paton) to terrific effect – lighting designer Josephine Tremelling and Andres Velasquez complete the cast. Their imaginative transformation of a skeleton and a folk singer’s shirt and hat into puppets is breathtaking.

Although emotionally resonant, Rewind needs a narrative to anchor it. We never really get to know Alicia or her back story. Instead, we are given fragmented scenes, punctuated with a cacophony of sound. Some of the more symbolic actions feel predictable – for instance the turning of numbered boxes to reveal photographs of the disappeared.

However, it’s hard not to be moved by this fast-paced, heartfelt production, directed by Ramon Ayres. It’s undeniably haunting, and several arresting tableaux linger with you.

Until February 10 

Originally published by Camden New Journal