Emma Thompson Presents Fair Trade (2 stars)

This article is from 2010

Emma Thompson Presents Fair Trade

Verbatim ad nauseam

This is, perhaps, not the place to go into the ethics of celebrities lending their names to worthy causes in the shape of theatre productions identifying social ills, but Emma Thompson might at least have chosen more carefully.

This piece, taken from the verbatim testimonies of two women, Samai and Elena, who were tricked into coming to Britain only to be sold into prostitution, does little justice to their no doubt harrowing stories. Lotte Wakeham’s production adds such hokey devices as a mock-pantomime scene to proceedings, to illustrate, you assume, the naivety of the girls.

Although the piece touches on the substantive issue – the laxness, corruption or lack of resources among the officials meant to police these problems – it is too bogged down in the accounts of the East European and African women concerned to fully explore these mechanics, portraying this appalling phenomenon as unresolvable when, without even considering the idea that, with the right effort and political will, it could be combatted.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550), until 30 Aug (not 23), 3.30pm, £9–£10 (£7.50–£9).

Emma Thompson presents: Fair Trade

  • 2 stars

Inspired by verbatim accounts of two survivors of the sex slave trade, Shatterbox has produced a dynamic and visceral piece of theatre combining drama, music, physical theatre and comedy. Directed by Lotte Wakeham, the women's stories are told in an unsentimental way. 'I'm extremely proud to be involved in this…