The Wheel, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

It's the eve of Rosa's wedding and the augurs are not good. There's blood in the goat's milk and the wine has been stolen, eggcup by eggcup, from a richer neighbour. Sure enough, before a drop has been drunk in toast to the nuptials, a menacing uninvited guest shows up and the wedding banquet has been swept away in the horrifying torrents of war. Having had everything snatched away from them – including Rosa's betrothed – the bride and her sister Beatriz are left with a strange, silent little girl who may or may not have miraculous or evil powers. Beatriz resolves to reunite her with her father and so begins a 1,000-mile odyssey across 19th-century Spain and, less specifically, through the history of man's inhumanity to man.

Zinnie Harris's new play for the National Theatre of Scotland, a strange, spiritual fable rich – perhaps too rich – in allegory, builds up a nice sense of dread and menace. And Vicky Featherstone's production is full of brooding fire and brimstone. But it's a little unevenly acted, particularly in the supporting roles, and somehow adds up to less than it promises. Intriguing, nonetheless.

To 28 August (0131 228 1404)