Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
She Has a Name
In She Has a Name, the “she” is a young Bangkok prostitute known only as No. 18.
She is raped in the opening scene by a ruthless pimp who makes her one his sex slaves. A Canadian lawyer named Jason, in Thailand aiming to break up a human-trafficking ring, pays to see her in the hopes of gaining information and her willingness to testify. No. 18 risks her life to help Jason in this heavy drama about a serious global problem.
She Has a Name ends much as it started, with Calgary playwright Andrew Kooman revealing the ugly reality of modern-day slavery. He earns kudos for bringing attention to this troubling stain on humanity but his earnest, black-and-white storytelling is unable to modulate the audience’s feelings. The disgust for the issue at the start of the 90-minute She Has a Name is the same at the end.
The cast is very able, led by Evelyn Chew, whose portrayal of No. 18 is quite convincing; she’s a pawn in the cat-and-mouse game between sex traffickers and international do-gooders. Carl Kennedy exhibits both menace as the pimp and compassion as Jason in his dual roles.
The ambitious production by Calgary’s Burnt Thicket Theatre is still a cut above the quality of most fringe offerings, but the impact of She Has a Name is sadly blunted.
This review was based on a performance at the Toronto or Montreal Fringe Fest.
From the Fringe program:
Haunted by anguished voices, a lawyer poses as a john to build a legal case against a brothel trafficking girls into Bangkok. Can Jason win the trust of a young prostitute known only as Number 18 and convince her to risk her life to testify for the sake of justice?
Inspired by an event in April 2008, Andrew Kooman's She Has a Name dramatically gives human trafficking a face.
4 STARS "She Has a Name [is] a heart-wrenching hit" - Louis B. Hobson, The Calgary Sun
Recommended For: Mature Audience
Length: 90 min
Under 14 not admitted.
Warnings: Subject Matter, Language, Nudity
Updated on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM CDT:
Updated on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM CDT: