Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

An all-female, Maltese cast interlace the events of histories greatest women to the accompaniment of electronic music. MARA calls upon the likes of Emmeline Pankhurst, Ethel Smyth and Corrie ten Boom, to break the silence and encourage others to share their stories.

Collectively a story of self-sacrifice, rebellion, oppression and hope, MARA is a multi-sensory production told through visual and auditory means. The underlying score is often aethereal, lingering in the shadows, building throughout these stories. Along with this, much of the supporting sound effects are made live on stage, encircling a microphone the women take turns to add a fragment of their stories; a bell, a watch ticking, a baby crying or a bottle smashing.

A distinct electro-acoustical sound MARA at first takes a hearing adjustment. Its composition marries with the hypnotic choreography. Sharp, inventive and at times violent, the movement communicates colossal weight, especially for the production’s depiction of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. This scene, in particular, powerfully poignant, is an intense example of the brilliance of storytelling through physical performance.

These women have been waiting for decades to have their stories told again, we need to focus every moment to share them now. Such an intense wealth of the history of female oppression is compressed into 60 minutes, it could benefit from another ten, yet we gain plenty from MARA.

The New Victorians are a Hydra of theatre makers, multifaceted in talents – each head defiantly singing the cause of women who continue to change history. Where if one should fall, another two will stand in her place.