Fringe Review: In a Thousand Pieces

A Fringe must-see...

This daring and thoughtful play challenges audiences to confront the hot button issue of human sex trafficking from several angles: victim, perpetrator, and, most chillingly, our own role as the passive public who silently condones a growing epidemic. The concept, which weaves movement, film, recorded interviews, monologues, and a live piano score to piece together a frayed patchwork of trafficked women’s lives, could only be pulled off by a group of performers whose technical skill matches their sense of social responsibility. 

 Fortunately, the three British actresses who devised this piece prove as fearless and sensitive in their performance of the work as they were in its research and creation. Rather than finger pointing or lecturing (save for a brief moment of unnecessary chalkboard math), the trio invites the audience to experience the unexpected and perilous journey that begins as a dream (a London modeling job, a chance to get a “proper British accent”) and invariably ends in a nightmare (kidnap, rape, torture, and loss of identity).  Beyond its somber, affecting message, the piece achieves frequent moments of poignancy, beauty, and even hilarity, so that the audience leaves the theatre as inspired by the show’s aesthetic experience as they are by its ethical call to action.  

 –Sarah Chandler


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