Fringe Review: 19 Weeks

Words by Lochy Maybury

There’s very little I can say about 19 Weeks that wouldn’t dilute the show, and it deserves better than that. Without a shred of hyperbole, this is the best Fringe show I’ve ever seen.

19 Weeks is an autobiographical, one-woman show written by Emily Steel who had a pregnancy termination after her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It is raw, intimate and devastatingly honest.

Set poolside, the play is performed by Adelaide local, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight with incredible grace. The pool is not just a theatre gimmick; it is an integral part of the show. It is both calming and tempestuous, a refuge and an ocean of isolation, perfectly encapsulating the exhausting and unpredictable emotional journey.

The soundscape is perfectly pitched and so effortlessly matches Emily Steel’s lean writing. There are no wasted words and this beautiful sparseness is expertly coupled with Daisy Brown’s deft direction.

I greatly admire Emily Steel not only for her work, but her extraordinary courage. Seeing the show on International Women’s Day was particularly timely and there are few shows that have left me as affected. This show has sold out for this season, so if you have tickets, make sure you hold onto them. If you don’t, fight someone who does to get them.