From the Fire

MUSICALS
****
From the Fire
Zoo Roxy

Following a sell out and critically acclaimed workshop run in New York, Bonny Doon productions, From the Fire makes its European premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

From the fire is deeply powerful and dramatic Oratorio which remembers the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911. This fire saw the deaths of 146 immigrant girls from the mostly Jewish and Italian communities. The fire came a year after the Uprising of the 20,000 the first significant strike by women in history. Up until the point women did not have the vote and were woefully underpaid and vastly over worked compared to their male counter parts. This is also taken into the story as well as the social change created following the fire. It’s the echo of the deaths of these women which continue to reverberate around the world today.

You may think this is quite a heavy production to be seeing at breakfast time but I felt totally engaged with the subject matter as we are transported back through time thanks to innovative projections, clever chorography and tight direction from Cecillia Rubino. The production is anchored by Musical Director Kris Kukul at the piano accompanied by Mastaka Odaka on double bass and banjo. The score which is based on a combination of poetry and new written lyrics is both evocative of the period as well as appealing to today’s audience. The show has lots of compassion but is never mawkish, the cast work cohesively together as an ensemble despite issues with the sound and it’s obvious that they believe in what they are performing.

The production has a very limited run in the festival of ten performances only and I assure you that it’s a production which will live long in the memory.