Thirteen’s Spring beautifully isolates the tragedy of life torn from normalcy due to circumstances far beyond the control of the subject. The subject in this case is a girl on the verge of womanhood who is making life changing self-discoveries around the time of her thirteenth birthday. These days will be the last of her life, and this fact is known only by the audience who can do nothing except bear witness as lead actress Nora King brings to life the sweet naivety of a young girl who lacks the foresight to understand that her life is about to be tragically cut short. Her interactions with her family allow us to understand their love for her as they give her permission to be an average girl for as long as they are able.
The use of props helps the viewer to empathize with Anne, whose life is very quickly slipping away from her and it adds to the dreaded climax where we feel as though we are trapped within quicksand from which there is no escape.
All of these emotions experienced by the audience would not be possible without the opening movement piece which allows us as the audience to leave the outside world behind and sink fully into a time and place where nothing is sure for those who live there.
The ending came too abruptly. I would have liked a moment to allow the idea to settle that not only the show, but this girl’s very real life was over.
The subject matter of this show is not isolated to the time period in which it takes place. There are so many across the globe that are subjected to circumstances beyond their control that disrupt what would be happy lives. This show and all the performances in it help to cultivate empathy for those who desire normal lives. This show is the most powerful piece of theatre in the Fringe festival.