Theatre review: Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha explores the process of loss (3 stars)

Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha explores the process of loss

The Ukranian theatre piece is more bitter than bitter-sweet

Ukranian playwright Natalia Vorozhbyt's play for the Play, a Pie and a Pint season, translated by Sasha Dugdale, is more bitter than bitter-sweet, dealing as it does with the emotional complexities of the grieving process.

Stepdaughter Oksana (an excellent Jenny Hulse) is heavily pregnant, and has a tendency to idolise Sasha (Paul Cunningham), her late stepfather. Oksana and her brittle mother Katya (Jill Riddiford), over the course of a couple of years, still feel Sasha's presence, a focus for their respective idiosyncracies and frustrations. Stashed toffees and Deep Purple songs become signifers of more innocent days.

While Oksana still regards him through a child's perspective, as an officer fighting in Crimea, and loving father figure, the very mention of him sends Katya into a jealous rage, as his alcoholism and straying comes to the fore. Yet with time comes clarity. Questions of status, masculinity and family loyalty loom large in the pared-down dialogue, even if the transitions do not always segue smoothly.

Some tender moments and nice staging choices however make the play a touching meditation on loss and the inconsistencies of legacy.

Oran Mor, Mon 23–Sat 28 Mar

Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha

A play exploring the grieving process.

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