Trauma is never an easy thing to talk about. Even though the Fringe often includes performers working through and discussing traumatic experience, through everything from confessional stand-up to intentionally obfuscating performance art, it never gets any easier for those not on stage. The Rebirth Of Meadow Rain, through strength of performance, honest connection with its audience and a palpable sense of acceptance and understanding goes further than many others in providing a voice for those scared to speak. Through digging deeper than shock tactics and finding something more truthful, there is immense power in this little Fringe production.
Through intimate staging and engaging style, The Rebirth Of Meadow Rain is an uncomfortable but beautiful viewing experience.
Tucked away in Bunker One is Meadow Rain, an approachable and friendly young woman who is throwing us a party of sorts. Or at least it's an apology masquerading as a party. We, as an audience, take on the role of her lifelong best friend who she abandons and distances herself from when she meets a man she believes will accept her for who she is. What we eventually learn is that isn't actually the case, how we learn this is through a masterful combination of strong performance and skillful structure and pacing. Through mixed media the story is always kept fresh and there is just enough audience interaction peppered throughout for the audience to feel included without feeling exploited. A couple of moments lean a little too hard on the audience member feeling comfortable enough to provide a funny response, but even in these moments the performer at the heart of the show plays things off impeccably.
Said performer, Hannah Moss (who it should be noted also wrote the show), is the combustible element that ignites this production. Constantly engaging and colourfully energetic she pulls the momentum of the show forward throughout, gracefully assisting through any awkward moments of audience interaction and giving her creation of Meadow Rain fully realised, three-dimensional life in front of us. Running the full emotional gauntlet over the course of an hour is a daunting task but it looks easy in the hands of this performer, who is a constant source of achingly human joy and pain.
Through intimate staging and engaging style, The Rebirth Of Meadow Rain is an uncomfortable but beautiful viewing experience. There are many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe one can attend if they are looking to engage directly with the consequences of, and discussion around abuse, but few discuss it with as much grace and power as this.