Reviews

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE REVIEWS

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.”

“This was stunningly good.”

“The athletically supple and beautiful Victoria Grove as Sappho gives a compelling and brilliant performance, whether locking eyes with the audience, capturing the erotic passion of first love, or tying herself up and hanging upside down from the set of scaffold, muslin drapes and thick rope. The result is a performance of great intimacy and yet powerful.”

BROADWAY BABY ★★★★

“Utterly spellbinding… Victoria Grove’s performance oozes luxury. Sensuous and husky, listening to her delivery of the euphonic script feels like it should be a forbidden pleasure. Effortlessly athletic, she swings, stretches, swoops about the stage.”

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LONDON REVIEWS

EXEUNT MAGAZINE ★★★★

“Uncommonly exhilarating.”

“Jessica Ruano’s direction focuses so keenly on the physical, that it’s as much a piece of choreography as a text; I believe Sappho, a great proponent of both the direct and the sensual in poetry, would unreservedly approve. No part of the space is not explored, no shape of the body not attempted.”

“Victoria Grove, who is surely some kind of professional enchantress, with the husky voice of a Dench or a Bacall and the poise of a young Vanessa Redgrave. Her characterisation of Sappho is simultaneously haughty and earthy.”

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FEMALE ARTS ★★★★

“Written, directed and executed with passion”

THE LADY ★★★★

“Stunningly athletic and entirely sensuous … fluidly directed”

REMOTE GOAT ★★★★

“a spectacular visual and physical piece”

“a gracious dance between an improvised energy and choreographed poignancy”

“Victoria Grove is fantastic, she is magnetic and mysterious, dominating…”

“like a fireworks display that you are glued to and every jet of sparkling light explodes with a wonderful climax”

ONE STOP ARTS ★★★★

“Magnetic collaboration between actress Victoria Grove and Director Jessica Ruano not to be missed”

“Victoria Grove is extraordinarily talented.”

“Ana Ines Jabares’ set is a work of brilliance … It’s quite simply an open cage, adorned with white sheets and ropes; like an adult climbing frame. It’s the most dexterous set I’ve ever seen, an absolute gift for Grove to play in”

“An engaging play with electric performances and exciting staging from director Jessica Ruano”

VIEWS FROM THE GODS ★★★★

“Deeply compelling”

“Victoria Grove gives a masterclass in acting, acrobatics and dance, beautifully choreographed by director Jessica Ruano”

BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

“What a performer!” … “A bravura display of technique and emotion”

“Remarkable balances and acrobatic gyrations”

“Victoria Grove makes this aerial choreography seem second nature”

UK THEATRE NETWORK

“Don’t miss this unique production!”

“highly sensual and intelligent piece… charged with eroticism”

“inspired direction” “outstanding performance”

A YOUNGER THEATRE

“Both intellectually stimulating and intensely compelling”

DIVA MAGAZINE

“One of the most sensual and emotionally evocative theatre experiences I have had this year”

GAYDARGIRLS

“Intimidatingly intimate” … “a totally mesmerising production”

N16 MAGAZINE

“Victoria Grove is magnetic and compelling” … “A unique production and a chance to catch an impressively talented actress at close quarters.”

HACKNEY HIVE

“brilliantly staged” … “utterly riveting performance”

DESTINATION HACKNEY

“bewitching Victoria Grove” … “strong direction by Jessica Ruano”

VENTS REVIEW

“Spellbinding… This dramatic meditation on identity, filtered through a classicist’s appreciation of the great Sappho, is a triumph for everyone involved.”

MONKEY POET REVIEW

“The show won a standing ovation from me, the fourth in 25 years…yes, it’s that f*cking good!”

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 CANADA REVIEWS

FULLY FRINGED

“Director Jessica Ruano, an Ottawa native with many successful projects under her belt, has brilliantly brought together the perfect harmony of a well-written piece, powerful acting, beautiful choreography, and superior staging. This is really, really, just a beautiful and well-crafted piece of theatre. Go see it.”

PRODUCTION OTTAWA 

4/4 “Victoria Grove is completely mesmerizing to watch as she moves and performs amidst her simple stage of ropes and bed sheets” … “perhaps best described as living art”

THE VISITORIUM, Natalie Joy Quesnel

“Extremely evocative … stimulating, captivating, and a pleasure to watch”

CAPITAL CRITICS CIRCLE, Alvina Ruprecht (former theatre critic for CBC Radio 1)

“Magnificent. The staging is striking, even hypnotic” … “The sensual voice of this superb actress becomes a presence that goes far beyond the text”

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