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THE STAGE - London

August 12, 1999

Stephanie Satie presents a parade of vivid and touching characters in a one-woman show of great intensity. Her output of energy is phenomenal, as she darts in and out of characters and accents - Armenian, Russian, Iranian - which are all impeccable.

She has used her experiences of teaching English as a second language to a class of refugees in the US to create a theatre of testimony, under the umbrella of American Dream Productions, with Amnesty International hovering in the wings.

Braced for harrowing tales of brutality and persecution, we find a different emphasis, more subtle and illustrating the personal rather than wider world politics. Overriding all is the feminist theme, stressing the oppression of women in all the various cultures, and showing racism and chauvinism amongst the refugees themselves.

More widely, Satie also manages to draw an analogy between the condition of the refugee and the sense of loss and displacement felt by many women stranded in the modern US. To blend political testament and drama is always tricky. Satie does it, impressively giving 120 percent passion all the way.

- Stella Goomey