Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: (Ottawa) 9 fragments (Fringe)

Who Knew Fragments Could Be So Beautiful?
by Robyn Lester

This incredible solo piece is well worth your time and money.

Now, I must admit that much of the content went over my head.  I’m not familiar with Sappho, or her work, and was a little lost in the subject matter.  If this were any other show, it would have probably tarnished my enjoyment of the production.  But with 9 fragments, the show could have been in a different language and I still would have enjoyed it.  Yes, some background knowledge would have added to it, but it didn’t change the fact that this performance was absolutely awe-inspiring.  

Sappho is easily the most beautiful thing I’ve seen at Fringe so far.  Victoria Grove’s performance was mesmerizing.  She is an actress of incredible talent, and incredible stage presence.

The show started with Sappho in the centre of a square frame.  The frame was cloaked in white sheets. It was all very ethereal.  Light was used so that all the audience could see was Sappho’s silhouette. A perfect way to echo how Sappho’s legacy has no body.  

The whole production was artfully done.  The venue was intimate, and Grove made great use of the space, as she suspended herself with ropes and flung her body with great control all over the set.  It was a passionate, physical, and poetic piece.  And a fantastic thing to watch.  But I couldn’t help but feel I was missing some profound message.  Nevertheless, even if you don’t get the story you will still leave feeling moved and you certainly won’t regret it.  See it! 9 fragments is at the Ottawa Fringe
Read also creator Jessica Ruano's first-person piece on the work's creation
‘Sappho …in 9 fragments’ tours Canada this summer. For full dates and updates, please visit the website and follow on Twitter @sappho9fragment. 


  1. I'm sorry, but how is this a review??? Basically all it says it that the show looks beautiful but I didn't understand it.

  2. A visceral emotional reaction to something not fully comprehended intellectually is as valid a description of a piece of theatre as any other. That a work inspires subsequent inquiry and research to flesh out a first impression is, it seems, what is wanted from any work.


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