Theatre at EdFringe

Over the past few weeks, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been in full flow and The F-Word has reviewed some of the theatre on offer. Alyson Macdonald, Cathy Hornby, Hazel Robertson, Lissy Lovett, Louise Hemfrey, Tara Msiska and Vivienne Egan have seen a variety of shows, all of which are somehow connected to sex, gender, sexuality, discrimination or equality.


Sans Salomé

THEY SAY: “Echoing from the first rehearsal of Wilde’s Salomé, come two tales of persecution and living sans salomé (without peace).”

TARA SAYS: “Wilde’s charming, confident personality and his disdain of the conventions of his age are perfectly captured by the witty dialogue.”


THEY SAY: “A coming-of-age tale which follows three students as they attempt to navigate the perils of friendship, procrastination and unplanned pregnancy.”

VIVIENNE SAYS: “This new piece of writing is an ambitious and reasonably mature discussion of pregnancy and abortion, conception and loss, childhood and adulthood…”

Credible Likable Superstar Role Model

THEY SAY: “Kimmings and her niece Taylor, nine, decided to play the global tween machine at its own game.”

HAZEL SAYS: “Kimmings’ design of monologue, interspersed with music and dance sequences works brilliantly.”


THEY SAY: “With a cast of just two, this is a play that explores the unfulfilled dreams of [a] pub’s 14 regulars under the Thatcher government.”

ALYSON SAYS: “I couldn’t help feeling that they’d overreached a little.”

Sappho…in 9 fragments

THEY SAY: “Within a secluded cavern, Ancient Greece’s first love poet laments her erasure from history, while a chorus girl named Atthis is seduced into a modern-day Sapphic romance.”

VIVIENNE SAYS: “It’s at once highly literary and basely animalistic.”


THEY SAY: “Our writers were given a simple job. Write a short play without specifying gender for any of the characters.”

TARA SAYS: “Like a dirtier version of That Mitchell And Webb Look but with more social commentary squeezed into these bite-size scenes.”


THEY SAY: “Imagine total gender freedom, where changing sex is as easy as getting dressed.”

ALYSON SAYS: “Specie sounds bizarre, and in places it is, but Fat Git Theatre have managed to find a space between po-faced worthiness and the utterly ridiculous.”

H to He

THEY SAY: “International award-winning comedy of sexual identity and gender inspired by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.”

HAZEL SAYS: “Disappointingly most of the comedy was derived from tired and dated gender stereotypes.”

The Walls

THEY SAY: “An exploration of female mental illness, past and present, using vivid, overlapping stories that come to life around the audience, demanding to be heard.”

VIVIENNE SAYS: “The play gives a real voice to some marginalised groups in history.”

Close to You


LOUISE SAYS: “A minimalist, art-installation style set framed by ghostly mannequins and accompanied by a keyboard soloist make Close to You a truly unique experience.”


Dark Vanilla Jungle

THEY SAY: “A beautiful, breathtaking new drama about one girl’s craving for family and home… and the lengths she’ll go to achieve them.”

CATHY SAYS: “Whelan’s devastating portrayal was rewarded with an emotional standing ovation during this performance.”

Phone Whore

THEY SAY:”Truth and taboo collide in this intimate visit with a phone sex operator.”

TARA SAYS: “Moore talks about her job and offers an unglamorised commentary of her life which challenges the popular view of sex workers as exploited victims or glamorous escorts.”

Cinderella Lives!

THEY SAY: “A young woman breaks a mould she didn’t realise she was confined to and finds a new way to tell the world’s most famous fairy tale.”

LISSY SAYS: “An excellent exploration of what it means to be a woman in today’s world.”


THEY SAY: “Exposing difficult complex figures of these seven infamous women in the 20th century: Dora Carrington, Unity Mitford, Zelda Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Smart, Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers and Myra Hindley.”

CATHY SAYS: “These [sketches] do intrigue, but for me represent little beyond the well-known headline stories of these women’s histories, bringing few new insights.”

On the One Hand

THEY SAY: “Six women of different ages and at different stages of their lives, explore what it means to age.”

LISSY SAYS: “The moments that really work for me are those where actors shift from character to character, suggesting the different roles that women play for others.”

Executed for Sodomy: the Life Story of Caterina Linck

THEY SAY: “From moments of surreal comedy to flashes of volcanic ferocity we are left to unpick accusation from truth and reflect upon the life of a unique, forgotten figure from European history.”

TARA SAYS: “There’s no uplifting message and that’s part of what makes it so raw.”

Three Women

THEY SAY: “When their male companions flee the scene, the women remain, and watch, and wait. Who were these women? And why were they there?”

LISSY SAYS: ” Although this is billed as a show about three women (Mary Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and a woman of Samaria), they do not play as central a part to the story as I would have liked and we spend more time on Jesus, his disciples and Pontius Pilate.”

To read the first post, click here.

To read the second post, click here.

The photo, from Dark Vanilla Jungle and taken by Camilla Greenwell, shows a woman standing with her arms outstretched.