Sappho Rose Review
"Sappho... in Nine Fragments" by Jane Montgomery Griffiths
Directed by Jessica Ruano
At the Rose, Bankside 21st May - 2nd June 2013
Victoria Grove lit up the stage one year ago as the eponymous "La Chunga" and now she returns in a second run of the one-woman play "Sappho.... in Nine Fragments" following an earlier run this year at the White Rabbit in Stoke Newington.
The stage is an iron cubic climbing frame draped in white satin and covered in ropes balanced literally on a precipice. The Rose Stage overlooks the site of the original theatre, and the darkened echoing acoustics provide an otherworldy feel to the story. Grove makes full use of her new surroundings, using her intense, lithe physicality to bring her tale to life. The text is a series of abstract poetics detailing the love affair between lesbian love goddess Sappho and her gentle, naive lover Atthis. Grove seamlessly slips between one role and the next and it's because of her performance that the dialogue, which could easily lose an audience, manages to work so well.
"Sappho" runs for another week at the Rose Theatre before going on tour to Canada and then the Edinburgh Fringe. London audiences should take a chance and see it while they can.