The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort

ensemble theatre · little earthquakes emsemble · Ages 14+ · United States of America

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Review by ROB ANGELL

June 09, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

The sparse set highlights the interactions between and among the actors. Every moment of this play is charged with a tragic energy that left me sobbing as I gave a standing ovation. It proves that the Aristotelian structure of ancient Greek tragedy still works and is accessible even (maybe especially?) for a modern story. Much of the “action” of the play takes place offstage, but the emotional arc remains by this riverbed. About 5 minutes into the production, I made the connection between my own family’s custom of wearing the clothes of our lost loved ones with the women’s desire to wash the belongings of the victims and return them to their families. Needless to say, I cried like I haven’t in a while. I dried my tears, congratulated and thanked the cast and crew… then cried again in the car. Every character (even/especially the antagonist) has a relatable, human arc that speaks to the power of something as seemingly simple as doing the laundry. The chorus of Scottish women are guardians of an old wisdom of survival that includes humor, duty, and service. We examine whether the choices we make have an impact, and the truth that love cannot exist without hate, and the way healing coaxes us into growth. We see several different methods of grieving in the play (and an additional one if you eat near me and saw my tear ducts win the fight against toxic masculinity), and we see how they are all flawed and how they are all valid and even necessary. It doesn’t shy away from the ugly side of grief, the pain and pointlessness of vengeance, the faults and necessity of stoicism, the need for small comforts, the power of a good person with a strong will, the universality of sorrow, and the importance of kindness and love. Do yourself a favor and see this show.

What I didn't like

What could be impro— really?? If I have to say something, there were a couple moments where the actors stepped over each other’s lines, but their chemistry was so good and the rest of the play so well-rehearsed that I wondered if it was intentional.

My overall impression

This is a stunning and heartwrenching tale of loss, grief, and healing that combines the modern and ancient to deliver a powerful production. If you’re anything like me (read: human) expect a good 75-minute cry.

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