Pros: Nate Edmondson’s original music score is a journey in its own right.
Cons: The plot’s dramatic elements aren’t properly developed.
British expat Noëlle has inherited from her beloved dad a passion for cartography and, inspired by her childhood readings, she decides to embark on an enlightening journey along the Amazon river. When she comes back, though, she discovers that her father has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Recollections from her past empowering adventure merge with the chronicles of his degenerative illness, whilst she flies back and forth between Australia and the UK.
Good With Maps could be an explorers’ tale for grown-ups, where feats from distant and exotic lands are associated with the turmoil of adult life. Its protagonist sails through her family-drama as she once did through the Amazon river, relentlessly and never losing hope.
Playwright Noëlle Janaczewska uses vivid colours to depict the history of the world’s biggest river, from the first European conquerors to the Victorian exploiters, and on to the modern investors. Her imaginative language, though, is not fully reflected within the dramatic elements of the plot, which lack suspense and a proper climatic scene.
Luckily, actress Jane Peghan is a compelling storyteller who brings the story alive with her uplifting tone and amiable features. Standing between a creased pale blue curtain and a river inlet made with silver paper boats, her lively voice tingles the audience, whilst maintaining the intimate character of the piece.
Nate Edmondson’s originally composed soundtrack is an absolute pleasure. Discreet but engaging, it guides the account with well-structured returning motifs and familiar sounds, like a water-flowing effect. Supplying the necessary context, it plays an essential role in setting the mood of each individual scene, and compensates the understated (but beautiful) design and limited use of props.
More of a tribute than an actual adventure journal, Good With Maps doesn’t have many surprises in store for the audience but its evocative production values and approachable storyline are highly enjoyable.
Author: Noëlle Janaczewska
Director: Kate Gaul
Producer: Siren Theatre Co (Australia)
Box Office: 0845 260 1234
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/good-with-maps
Booking Until: 28 August 2017