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Theatre Review: On the Exhale *****

Michael Cox reviews a 'brilliant' production that shouldn't be missed.

The less one knows about what happens in On the Exhale, the better. Martin Zimmerman’s script tells a harrowing story that starts in measured tones but takes dark, unpredictable turns.

We are introduced to an unnamed woman. She is an American university lecturer who has fears of possible violence. These fears manifest themselves, first in her imagination and then in reality.

Zimmerman’s play is clearly influenced by current events in the United States, making the play feel all the more pertinent. The language is crisp and poetic, the characters richly drawn.

And it is brilliantly staged by director Christopher Haydon and performed by Polly Frame. Haydon’s staging perfectly compliments Frame’s performance, creating an almost hypnotic trance in its storytelling power that is all the more heightened by its stark set and lighting designs and rich soundscape.

On the Exhale is difficult to watch, but it is a brilliantly handled tale that starts bold and never lets go. Do not miss it.

On the Exhale performs at the Traverse Two until August 26th. Check website for specific performance dates and times.

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