Nine Foot Nine
- Gareth K Vile
- 22 August 2018
Science Fiction Theatre with a heart and a mind
In a fringe populated by feminist theatre, much of which is important but emphasises education over theatrical complexity, Nine Foot Nine is a blast of intelligent and challenging energy. From the science fiction fantasy of all women suddenly growing to fantastical size, the script grapples with ideas of control, consent, exploitation and compassion.
The cast of three bring warmth to the depiction of a family interrupted by the sudden 'sprouting' of women and in deft touches a new world order is described. Far from being either a feminist utopia or simply patriarchal business as usual, the characters are forced to deal with disrupted domesticity and hard political choices.
While the intention clearly pokes at underlying assumptions about gender identity, the questions it provokes are consciously problematic reflections on specific concerns. Unafraid to address the oppression of women from a startling angle, it invites conversation rather than encouraging a simplistic conclusion.
Casting a new perspective on how violence relates to consent and the relationship between daughters and parents, the family are flawed but sympathetic, shifting perspectives and revealing kindness in cruelty and compassion in selfishness. No answers are offered, only conversations and challenges. The clear structure and taut direction only emphasise the philosophical integrity of the show's bold subversive premise.
Assembly Rooms, until 25 Aug, 11.45am, £12.