Rachel Harper both wrote and performed Rattled based on a true story. Her acting as Em, the main character, is the cherry on top. It is hard to take your eyes off her as she battles with overwhelming emotions. While the play about childhood trauma and postpartum depression is intense from start to end, the pacing nevertheless gives the audience space to breath.
Em is portrayed as an incredibly likable woman with a quite comedic character. Even though the theme of the play is all but comedic, there are plenty of relatable moments that trigger laughter all across the audience. It is easy to feel with the character as her communication is excellent without being overly explanatory in any way. The clear but subtle points made in regard to her well-being are utterly understandable. There is no definite story line and no climax, and this makes the play so human. Every word spoken matters to the audience.
The staging (Florence Hazard) is very minimalistic with only a wooden bench in the centre of the stage area and a baby carrier in the corner. While the bench mainly acts as a supporting prop for Rachel Harpers physical acting, the baby carrier has a much more symbolic role. It is not the centre of attention, but rather a trigger for Em to share her thoughts and reflect on her past. At the same time it continuously reminds the audience of the ominous present situation of the character, even as she takes a long walk down memory lane.
There is not a single negative thing to say about the play as a whole. The length, the pacing, the costume and setting all added perfectly to the monologue. The sensitivity with which Rachel Harper addresses the topic is incredible and invites the audience to reflect and discuss. The five stars are well earned.