Review Evros : The Crossing River, Seemia Theatre, The Vault Festival by Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Very regimental, emotionless and demanding, walking into Evros : The Crossing River, we are split into different seating through the tunnel in direct fashion. This production has many layers to it, with our entrance only being of one, highlighting the narrative.
Evros is a production that looks at and gets in depth with the Syrian refugee crisis. Taking several stories, we see the sheer terror, the difficulties and the tragedy that many families have and do endure, while contrasting this with normal events of happiness, family, and love. It is an emotional play, tugging at your emotions but also opening your eyes to the sheer truth.
The performers from Seemia Theatre have happily (and what a rarity) gone back to basics – we have character swapping with identity being confirmed by small changes of costuming, translating into their character development. The performers do well to change ages, relationships through physicalisation and change in voice.
Back to basics, they also use basic lighting, a simple wash with a spotlight change – nothing fancy and distracting, this production is purely about content and physicality. And there is no recorded music – the performers take it in turns and also join together with instruments and their voices which resounds across the tunnel creating the ultimate atmospheric feeling.
It’s also refreshing to see a narrative combined with physical theatre – encompassing the feeling of running, of loss, of exhaustion with repeated, almost light-motif’s of movement to enhance the deterioration of these lives.
The narrative itself is split; we see characters go from normal happy lives, to tragedy; creating the basics we need to affiliate with them as people living normal lives, to then question and try to understand how such awful events can change that simple dynamic quickly.
The performers are at all times in character – from the moment you walk in to when you leave. This becomes a safe space where we experience these stories but feel contained and in a way, involved.
Evros : The Crossing River is steeped in emotion, creating the most intense atmosphere and leaving you feeling a sense of sorrow unlike any other.

Hannah Goslin

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