Review by Annabelle McKinnon
Directed by Poppy Rowley, Grounded tells the story of an unnamed fighter pilot when her life faces some unexpected challenges. Falling pregnant, actress Martha Lott’s character moves from month long assignments in the sky to sitting in a windowless trailer for 12 hours a day and hunting terrorists with military drones.
Her work and family life merges into a blur as the pressure to find a guilty high-profile terrorist consumes her. She worked hard to become a hero in the ‘blue’ sky – something that is an integral part of her identity – but now faces the ‘grey’. The new changes in her life consumes her, merging her love for motherhood and her necessity of fighting the bigger fight. Even though the threat of death has been erased from her life, she grapples with her new identity – being an unseen hero.
Grounded paints a thought-provoking and emotive portrait of war, which lays a bed for a heartbreaking and engrossing drama. The direction from Rowley combined with the onstage presence of Lott works impeccably, and is perfectly structured with help from the technician, lighting and the set.
In particular, Martha Lott is a very special performer. She portrays a woman who is both hilarious, honest and emotive. She left me laughing and smiling in admiration of her character, and threw goosebumps down my spine with the emotive ending to the production.
The team at Holden Street Theatres and the theatre set up should also be credited in the highest respect for their hospitality and general helpfulness.
I found this production so hard to fault, as did the audience who gave Lott a well-deserved standing ovation. Do not miss this play, it is Fringe Festival at its finest level. Grounded is on until the 16th of March at Holden Street Theatres, and well and truly deserves a10/10.