Asterglow theatre is a new amateur company focused on new writing centered on female and non-binary individuals. The company also strives to be accessible to everyone and offers relaxed performances where loud noises and bright lights are turned off, and subtitles are provided for every show. It’s a commendable effort for their debut show at the Edinburgh Fringe, the charming Never None (but She).
Never None (but She) is a competent debut by a new theatre company.
Writer Dyan Rizzo-Busack has studied the power of fairy and folk tales, and Never None (but She) makes good use of the folktale format to get its message across. Performed by an all female cast, the play takes the old archetype of the wise woman who is accused of witchcraft when her wisdom starts to threaten those in charge, and turns it into a modern fable of feminism and environmental activism. The setting and period of the play is ambiguous, but it doesn’t matter since its message is clear: the world must stop trying to deny the power of women, and doing something always beats doing nothing.
In the world of the play, all women are born with magic but a recent government mandate has declared that they must turn their magic off since (supposedly) it’s causing the stars to disappear from the sky. Three women come together and decide it’s time to embrace the power they were given and stand up for themselves and the future of their world.
These are all noble ideas and the play does a mostly deft job of putting them across without being preachy or condescending. The structure of the play might be better served with longer scenes, letting the story breathe and giving the characters more dimension, but the choral singing by the cast during the multiple scene changes is lovely and lends the production an unmistakable feminine energy. Never None (but She) is a competent debut by a new theatre company and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Asterglow theatre.