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Juana in a Million
Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012
4

4 stars

Pleasance Dome (venue website)
Theatre
1-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-26 Aug, 4:15pm-5:15pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Having left her troubled homeland of Mexico, Juana arrives in the UK. With no work permit she finds herself exploited and overworked as she strives to build a new life in this one-woman show, highlighting an all-too-common story and bringing a hidden Britain into sharp focus.

Vicky Araico Casas delivers an honest and consummate performance in this one-woman show. Beautifully acted, with boundless energy and feeling, it is impossible not to get caught up in Juana’s story. Her portrayals of the numerous characters in the show are distinct and compelling, and the warmth she gives them endows them with the hope Juana has for her new life, making the inevitable betrayals all the more cutting.

Using simple and rhythmic repetition in the script and mirroring this in movement sequences, director Nir Paldi neatly expresses both the monotony and unforgiving pace of Juana’s working day. Live percussion provides a sparse and supportive soundtrack to the story, speeding the narrative on ominously.

The narrative subtly interlaces Juana’s very personal journey with the history of the Mexican people and the legacy of Malinche, who betrayed them to Cortes. Peppering the heartbreaking story with Juana’s resilient humour, the show tells a very human tale.

Aiming to raid awareness of the exploitation of the many women in Juana’s situation, Juana In A Million is a very affecting piece, expertly personalizing the issue through Juana’s tale and provoking more than a few tears from the audience along the way.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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