Night Witches

ensemble theatre · the thrillpeddlers · Ages 16+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by TIM BLAND
June 09, 2016 certified reviewer

tagged as: action · heroes · heroines · War · Nazis · resistance · airplanes · metal

What I liked

“Night Witches” was full of energy and established a surprisingly strong sense of location given the black-box limitations; the best strokes of staging genius were the flight sequences and the maintained physical separation of Allied and Axis powers, providing an IRL split screen. The shots of humor, gallows and otherwise, well broke tension and enriched the characters.

What I didn't like

The many music cues – anachronistic but fitting metal – were marred by technical issues that the crew and cast soldiered through. But less might be more anyway; the frequent use of music in scene transitions where it wasn’t really needed lessened its atmospheric power during the combat scenes.

My overall impression

“Night Witches” energetically weaves together seemingly disparate threads – feminism, combat, heavy metal, puppetry – to spotlight people and deeds that might but shouldn’t be forgotten, and truths about bravery and action that ought to be obvious if we would only see and face them. This story will become only more rich and successful as it grows beyond its Fringe debut.

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