Edinburgh Fringe Festival, photo by Amy Stutz

Edinburgh Fringe | A Theatrical Experience Like No Other

I arrived home from Edinburgh late on Monday evening. Despite severely lacking in sleep and not having had a proper meal in a week, I came home feeling nourished with theatre and alive with experience.

Edinburgh Fringe isn’t just a theatre festival, it is quite literally another world. You become immersed in the lifestyle and the culture, it is a truly beautiful place to forget about real life. It seems strange to say, but I feel as if I went to Edinburgh as one person and left as someone else.

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REVIEW | Happy Together | Edinburgh Fringe

Happy Together is a play that delves into the psychology of relationships and experiments both in real-time and the future.

The play opens with playwright Kate Newman introducing the idea behind her play, she scours the audience in search of two volunteers who will come up on stage to play the two main characters. She explains how they will be reading from cue cards to begin the performance. Picking on two audience members, it then becomes apparent it is staged but the play begins to unravel.

Set over the course of four years, the story tracks backwards. Set in a bedroom, as the story progresses the set slowly disappears. Linford Butler and Emily Bickerdike both give convincing performances as a couple in various stages of their relationship. Bickerdike’s character is intriguing as she portrays both strength and vulnerability as the relationship blossoms and deteriorates. This is similarly revealed in Butler’s role as he begins the piece nervous and uncertain, yet loses control of himself as he becomes possessive. The power shift within the piece is absorbing and adds to the complexity of the characters.

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REVIEW | F*cking Men | Edinburgh Fringe

F*cking Men is a provocative play that unravels the sex lives of ten different modern gay men.

Starring three men, Haydn Whiteside, Harper James and Richard de Lisle star as a multitude of men from different backgrounds. From soldiers in the army, to playwriter, university students and married men, the play delves deeply into the thoughts and emotional baggage of these men.

The contemporary piece of theatre explores the ideas and questions behind gay culture. With modern elements touching upon their lives such as dating apps like Grindr, the piece has a focus on infidelity and ‘open relationships’. The army guy enjoys feeling pleasure from men but won’t identify as gay, the married man yearns to sleep around and the escort is desperate to settle down. As an audience member, we are taken inside the minds of these men that use sex to cover up a lot of their feelings.

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REVIEW | Who Is Tahirih? | Edinburgh Fringe

“It is time for recognition of the true equality of men and women.” The story of Persian poetess, first feminist and suffrage martyr is brought to life in Delia Olam’s captivating one woman show. It is a bold and unique performance that uses music, poetry and distinct characterisation to differentiate between the different people whose lives were affected by Tahirih. We hear the thoughts and feelings from her friend, servant, father and executioner. The production creatively uses a lilac headscarf as the constant in the performance. The headscarf is worn by Delia in a multitude of ways to distinguish each character. Her ability to transform from the assertive and outraged father, to the timidly anxiously servant and eventually the empowering Tahirih, is truly remarkable. All of her characters address the audience with a wide-eyed gaze, her intensity inviting the audience into each character’s mind. Even using audience interaction, she engages with each audience member by making them tea and greeting them as she enters. Using both dialogue and music, Delia plays various string instruments live on stage behind a sheer curtain. Her vocals are extraordinary as she sings the lyrical poems with passion and soul as the shadowed figure that isn’t revealed to us until the very end. Tahirih appears softly spoken but is described by her counterparts as having “forgotten her role as a woman.” Many are disgusted at her outspoken nature but she continues on with standing up for her rights as a woman. As the piece progresses we learn about the power of her voice, she is a forgotten feminist that made a strong impact on the equality movement. It is an inspiring and shocking story that has a strong relevance to today’s feminist movement. Delia Olam pours her heart into an eye-opening piece of theatre that is beautifully moving. **** 4 stars All reviews also appear on Hiskind Tickets can be found here.