Theatre Review: ROTTERDAM

Rotterdam Alice McCarthy And Anna Martine

Excellent performances and a very timely storyline make ‘Rotterdam' a must-see show

Fiona (Anna Martine) has been in a long-term relationship with Alice (Alice McCarthy) for seven years. They’re English but moved to Rotterdam so that Alice could avoid coming out to her parents. Fiona is Alice’s first girlfriend - when they initially met Alice was dating Fiona’s brother Josh (Ed Eales-White). It’s a rocky relationship, even more so when Alice finds it very difficult sending an email to her parents to announce to them that she’s lesbian and is in a lesbian relationship, and has always told them that Fiona was her roommate. However, one day Fiona announces that she wants to transition to become a man, and that she always felt like she was a man in a woman’s body. It’s not easy for Alice to accept this bombshell, but when Fiona decides to starts to living as a man and tells Alice to start calling her Adrian, their relationship is put the test, even more so when Alice starts taking a liking to Lelani (Jessica Clark), a very sexy and very vivacious lesbian woman at her work.

The running joke in the play is that why would anyone want to live in Rotterdam? We’re told that it’s a city where things pass through, not stop, that it’s a place for transition. And that’s exactly what Fiona is about to do - transition - she is cisgender. And Martine really pulls the role off. She’s got the toughest part in the play where in the first half she's Fiona but in the second half she's the masculine-looking Adrian. It’s an excellent transformation. The rest of the cast are all almost as perfect. McCarthy is good as the stressed out girlfriend who doesn’t quite know what to do or how to handle Fiona’s transition. And Clark is delicious as the ‘other woman’ - with her sexy moves and even sexier accent.

Writer Jon Brittain hits the nail on the head in dealing with this issue, so in the news because of Bruce Jenner’s recent transition to Caitlyn Jenner. ‘Rotterdam’ was originally produced at Theatre 503 in Battersea and makes a superb transition to the Trafalgar Studios. And Donnacadh O’Brian excellently directs the cast in the smaller of Trafalgar Studio’s theatres, with a clever set and great pulsating music by Robyn. Make a stop and see ‘Rotterdam.'

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