REVIEW: Libby Purves

Review by Libby Purves, former theatre critic for The Times

An almost unbelievable hour. Victoria Grove, directed by Jessica Ruano,  speaks sometimes as Sappho reflecting on her life and the images succeeding centuries have had of her –  poet, lover, lesbian,  dissident, mother, suicide,  symbol of women’s education or just an empty vessel for female longings.

It is athletically extraordinary:   the ropes become hammocks,  imprisoning tangles,  swings,  a ship.  She hangs upside down from the top rail in her long robe like an erotic bat, hair sweeping the ground, hurls herself back in sexual abandon,  perches on the high bars and breaks out of the uprights.  She leaps and shouts harshly “Cursed beyond all curses is a woman’s lot!” or tenderly broods over her daughter “beautiful as golden flowers”.  It is hypnotic, disturbing  and beautiful.

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