Jane Doe review at Assembly George Square, Edinburgh – ‘careful, important show’

Jane Doe at Assembly George Square Jane Doe at Assembly George Square

This politically vital show from New Zealand-based Zanetti Productions has been built with great care by a young company treating difficult, complex material with the gravity it deserves.

Using a patchwork of court transcripts and text messages taken from or based on material from recent high-profile rape cases, as well as interviews with a range of young women and men, Jane Doe draws attention to how institutionalised misogyny leaves real women vulnerable.

This is an increasingly talked about topic, especially after high profile cases such as People v. Turner, in which his father’s description of molesting an unconscious woman as “20 minutes of action” revealed something entrenched and horrible that must be questioned. It can’t be said enough that women’s bodies are their own.

However, Jane Doe will struggle to break new ground on this subject for anyone who has already grimly read up on these cases, as most in their audience surely will have. As with so much theatre on important, knotty subjects, you have the frustrating sense that those who need to see it most will not.

Nonetheless, moments of this careful, important show, delicately held together by solo performer Karin McCracken, will stay with you.

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Hard to watch show about rape and sexual assault carefully made by this young company