Adelaide Fringe Review: Games by Henry Naylor
Review – Geoff Jenke
Based on a true story, Games is a cautionary tale for our times about two world-class Jewish-German athletes who are aiming at participating in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Fencer, Helene Mayer (played by Sophie Shad) and high jumper Gretal Bergmann (Tessia Orange-Turner) are world champions in their field, but must overcome anti-Semitism and murderous prejudice to gain a spot in the team.
Using a simple minimalist set, with just three red vertical drapes and two boxes, it is left to the two actresses to tell the story of the lead up to the 1936 Olympics in pre-war Germany. The two girls meet several times over the years leading up to the games. Helene Mayer is the more innocent of the two and wishes to keep politics out of sport while Gretal Bergmann is quite realistic about what is going on around them, which in turn makes her even more determined to win.
The performances of the two actresses are outstanding and convincing. The play is beautifully written, gripping, powerful and thought provoking, but most of all, terrifyingly true.
I simply say “Go see this!” and give it 5 stars
Holden Street Theatres Feb 12 – March 16.