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Emma Thompson Presents: Fair Trade

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Pleasance Dome
5 - 30 August, 15.30

The title is clumsy but the celebrity endorsement will bring people in to play, which covers an important subject. At the Fringe, you do what you must to attract an audience. Sex trade slavery happening here in the UK is conveniently swept under the carpet along with all the other unpleasant things, we tell ouselves, happen in other countries or that we can't do anything about.

The play tells the stories of just two women but there are many more. Sudanese Samai and Elena, an Albanian, have both been duped into believing that a better life awaits them here. They have trusted, and we, as well as their betrayers, have let them down. They swap unhappy lives in their own countries, ending up serving the men who brought them and the men who pay for them.

Shatterbox co-founder Anna Holbek and Sarah Amankwah give committed performances but 
in truth, the play is only partly successful as drama. The production ,sometimes overblown, does cover a story that needs to be told more often. However, you can't escape the feeling that there have been more effective vehicles.

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