Edinburgh 2016 Roundup


This summer I spent three inspiring, chaotic and stressful weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe with my play Canon Warriors. Alongside flyering, teching and crises, I also used my time turner to review for ThreeWeeks. Here are some of my favourite shows:


It’s a rare feat to get an entire audience dancing onstage. But In Bed With My Brother’s new show ‘We Are Ian’, winner of the 2016 Charlie Hartill Award, does just that. Performers Kat Cory, Dora Lynn and Nora Alexander recreate their friend Ian’s experience of the 1989 Acid House movement through music, dance and clowning. Recordings of interviews with Ian, a 46-year-old Mancunian with a great sense of humour, are incorporated into the show, along with his favourite tracks from the era. The show is well-structured, with a strong emotional arc, and the sound and lighting design are fantastic. ‘We Are Ian’ demonstrates how having a dance can be a defiantly political act. You need to experience it for yourselves.

Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5

E15 (LUNG)

Walking into LUNG’s production of ‘E15’ is like walking into a political campaign. Colourful banners are everywhere, loud music plays while performers belt out slogans: “social housing, not social cleansing”. ‘E15’ is a piece of documentary theatre about a protest movement, launched by 29 young mothers when they were threatened with eviction and relocation from their homes in Newham. It tells of their extraordinary response to an all-too common situation, interspersed with interviews about the housing crisis. This is theatre at its most politically engaged and engaging – it is a call to action, with reverberations well beyond the stage. The performers remind the audience that “these are real people,” and encourage us to “do something”. This outstanding company deliver an angry, empowering production, catalysing change.

Summerhall, until 27th Aug.
tw rating 5/5 


Dancing letterboxes, brass instruments and a (great) slide show all feature in Sh!t Theatre’s hilarious new show about the housing crisis. Somehow it really works, brought together by magnetic performances from artistic collaborators and flatmates Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit. When they moved into their flat, Windsor House, they started to open past residents’ mail, and this show speculates outrageously on these people’s lives. It also considers what it means to blur the line between artistic practice and life, when one’s life is making art. Amidst the laughter, there are moments of vulnerability from both performers and a searing critique of gentrification. ‘Letters to Windsor House’ hits uproariously close to home for members of Generation Rent.

Summerhall, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 


There is a stigma attached to admitting to being lonely in today’s digitally connected world. Annie Siddons’s strikingly honest new show recounts what happened when the “walrus of loneliness” came to call, following a move to the suburbs with her daughters and the breakdown of her marriage. Siddons combines solo performance (plus a helper in a red wig playing her at points) with hilarious snippets of film, co-made with Richard deDomenici, dramatising her failed attempts to fit in in “Twickenham, home of rugby”. The show is packed with zany touches, such as representing her daughters with two olive trees, which make the difficult moments more bearable to watch. A relatable and surprisingly uplifting show about loneliness and living.

Summerhall, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 4/5


“I’m an OK human, I think,” declares the gender-nonconforming teen of ‘Scorch’, as they face a prison sentence of three and a half years and a place on the sex offenders’ list. Inspired by a recent court case about ‘gender fraud’, Stacey Gregg’s monologue ‘Scorch’ goes behind the sensationalism and homo/transphobia that marked press coverage to present the other side of the story. It is immediately clear why ‘Scorch’ won Best New Play at the 2015 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards. The script is lyrical, subtle and morally ambivalent, exploring what society does to people who don’t fit into a box. Amy McAllister delivers a consummate performance: sensitive, funny and incisive.

Roundabout @ Summerhall, until 28th Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Hannah Greenstreet]

You can read my other festival reviews here.

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