Breaking Open at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall is a powerful one-woman play that delves into the life of Oskar Saville, once the lead singer of the multi-platinum band, 10,000 Maniacs.

Despite the modest audience turnout, including her supportive teenage kids who are wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words ‘Come See My Mama’s Show’, Saville’s compelling storytelling draws us into her journey of self-discovery and courage.

The show opens with a touch of first-morning nerves as Saville stumbles over her lines, but she quickly recovers with the help of her director/tech. From that moment on, her performance is nothing short of captivating.

Throughout her life, she has experienced psychic tendencies and “heard voices.” But it’s one voice, an inner calling, that compels her to leave her marriage. Fate had brought Oskar to her husband —a destiny she believed would allow her to create the ideal family and shield her children from the pain of her own childhood.

We are taken on an emotional journey as Saville finds the strength to leave her marriage and becomes a single parent to her three children. Throughout her struggle, she grapples with the sacrifice of her music career. Yet, her journey leads to a remarkable realisation: by breaking free from the confines of her “fairytale” marriage, she rediscovers her voice and, in doing so, finds the true meaning of family.

Like the well-loved T-shirt she wears throughout the show, Saville appears invincible as she bares her soul on stage. A strong performance that will have you sympathising, empathising, and leaving with the odd tear.

Like Oskar, Breaking Open is a show that deserves a little bit of love from the Fringe audience. It is a heartfelt and moving experience that resonates long after the curtains close. Whether you are a fan of her music career or simply appreciate authentic storytelling, this show will leave you moved and inspired. Catch it while you can during its limited run at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, from the 4th to the 12th of the month.

Oskar Saville, Breaking Open. © 2023 Martin McAdam

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