Review by Carly Fisher
Perhaps the reason Sadie Hasler’s play Pramkicker is simply so good is because of how relevant it is, or maybe its because of how relatable it is, or simply how well structured it is, or maybe its brilliance lies in the hands of the duo cast on stage…whichever way you slice and dice it, the play is excellent.
Pramkicker finds sisters Jude and Suzie at anger management class - Suzie there as a supportive sister, Jude there because she kicked a pram. And no, there was no child in it. But all the same, the pram descended staircases and cause a path of destruction in its wake…but it was called for, or so Jude will fight for us to believe. It was the inevitable conclusion to a painstaking interaction with a delusion mother surrounded by children…right?
This contemporary dramady reflects a conversation that I think is very familiar to women, particularly those around my age - do you want kids? If yes, when and how? If no, are you sure and will you always maintain that answer? Society will have all of us women believing that we will never be satisfied or fulfilled without them…but more and more, women of today are questioning if that holds any truth for them. And so, with the very familiar context set, we have a play that I believe does well to remind us all that whatever you choose, it’s the right choice as long as it feels right to you.
This production is extremely well directed by Sophie Brierton who has led the dynamic duo before us expertly. She has a clear vision that is achieved well through great execution of pace and playful imagery. With a very limited set (a single black box and some chairs), she has ensured that the audience is always able to follow the changing settings. Sadie Hasler has laid great foundations in her writing but Brierton has really given the show a vibrancy to it.
This is then carried through by two of the best performers I saw this fringe - Ella Ironside (Jude) and Amy Dallas (Suzie). Ironside weaves Jude a clever emotional tapestry that she then takes the audience on a journey to discover - she offers a layered and sophisticated performance. Dallas brings the fun, and then also the heartbreak. Dallas has many characters to execute and she does all of them with skill showing off her range and strong command of accent work. Like Ironside, Dallas too offers a beautiful performance.
I won’t ruin any part of the story by summarising it - instead, I urge you to see this production, or any production of this script. It’s an interesting, relevant and complex piece that really felt like an extension of a conversation that I would have with friends.
Whichever side of the fence you are on about this issue, I believe women will relate at least at some point with at least one of the characters.
It’s an early start at 9:55am for an Edinburgh Fringe Show but I think you will be hard pressed to find a better way to start your day.