STAGE REVIEW: No. 9 @ Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle (23.02.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Of all the North East theatrical venues, perhaps none are taking as many risks at present as Alphabetii Theatre; a venue seemingly committed to taking interesting, often taboo, productions and staging them for as many people as possible.  Supported by a pay-as-you-feel approach, Alphabetti should not only be applauded for championing original art, but also for making it accessible.  

Tonight’s taboo-breaking piece, Anna Robinson’s exploration of sexual assault and patterns of self-harming behaviour, offers no retreat from the venue’s intent to prod and provoke. Performed by Lauren Waine, in a style that plays to both the comedic and tragic moments of the show, No. 9 Is a harrowing tale of how easily a fun, mildly hedonistic, evening can be taken advantage of and the long, often prolonged, pangs of grief and regret that can arise from unwanted and unexpected sexual violence.  

Using the stage to its full in a one-person show, Waine brings the play to life with unreserved, brave dramatic choices; moving us from sardonic, almost cynical, moments of humour to dark regret within moments. Never settling for obvious choices or atypical endings, No. 9 succeeds because of the ark that choose to take; this is not a one dimensional journey into post sexual violence tribulations. It’s much more. Another brave choice by Alphabetti. 

No.9 is at Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle until Saturday 12th March

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