Paines Plough returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with their fantastic Roundabout venue, with an eclectic programme of new writing. One of these original and innovative scripts is Rafaella Marcus’ SAP, a contemporary thriller with ancient roots that follows a woman through two relationships, how they intertwine and affect her and each other. Exploring bisexual identity, body autonomy and toxicity, SAP runs until the 28th August at Roundabout @ Summerhall at 12:50.
Rafaella Marcus’ script is bursting at the seams with beautiful imagery and metaphor. Her protagonist is instantly likable and painfully relatable in her awkwardness and charming candor as she navigates her relationships, her work and her feelings of displacement. The plot is reminiscent of its source material, but stands strong as an independent piece of writing, throwing it’s themes into present day and in the context of today’s social climate regarding the queer spectrum. Bisexuality is often dismissed or erased in theatre, so to be able to witness a piece of writing that is so honest and empathetic to its subject matter is gratifying.
Jessica Lazar’s directing of SAP, aside from a few choices that break the audience away from the action, like the single use of a microphone or the use of props that divert from its effective minimalistic set, enhances the poetic nature of the words, relying on the physicality of the performers and how they utilise the 360-degree space around them to convey intimacy and fear.
With performers like Jessica Clark and Rebecca Banatvala at the forefront, this is easily achieved. Clark’s performance soars for the entire seventy minutes, her moments of explosive and brazen humour are just as memorable as her moments of heartbreak and vulnerability, and her performance is only excelled by Banatvala’s striking portrayal of both lover and enemy.
SAP is a thrilling rollercoaster of a show, taking twists and turns that you won’t expect, however will treasure experiencing in a variety of ways.