Nilaja Sun shines in this stunning one-woman show about a family on the Lower East Side of New York City. The main character, Evelyn, is mother to a 15 year old daughter who cannot eat, bathe or breathe on her own. She is desperately trying to ensure they will have electricity to power her life support should the hurricane heading for the city cut out the power.
Sun plays every part, embodying everyone from the daughter herself to the elderly neighbour suffering from dementia. With subtle changes in voice and stance she completely alters her persona, and holds numerous fast-paced, intense conversations between characters that are no less realistic or emotive than if there were two actors involved. She is so talented that it is clear just from her facial expression whom she is playing in that moment.
Her skill is also clearly evident in the script, which includes both humour and deep emotion. It is paced well and flows beautifully; transitions between characters and settings never once disrupt it. The clever lighting reflects and enhances the atmosphere, whether it be lighthearted or intense, and music is used to both create and juxtapose a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
The themes in the play are serious ones: disability, stigma, hope, resentment and PTSD. It's sometimes hard-hitting but never overwhelming, and will definitely make you think about how you treat other people. Sun gave me goosebumps, and she brought others to tears. Her talent is a rare and precious one, and this play is a thing of beauty.
Pike St is on at Summerhall at 15:00 until August 27th, excluding the 15th and 22nd. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the EdFringe website.