Skip to main content

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 - Theatre Reviews 10 - Trans Scripts - Pleasance Courtyard - Four stars / A Game of You - Traverse Theatre - Four stars

Six women line the stage at the start of Paul Lucas' new play, Trans Scripts. At first glance, such a disparate array seem to have stepped out of a common or garden piece about female bonding. As it is, the stories that unfold over the play's ninety minute duration presents a very different kind of sisterhood.

Culled and cut-up from some seventy-five interviews with trans women, Lucas and director Linda Ames Key have shaped six disparate stories from true life experience that lay bare the agonies and ecstasies of being a woman trapped in a man's bodies. The ecstasies, of course, only come later, after the women have risen above lifetimes of verbal and physical abuse. The stories that emerge are by turns angry, funny and at times wilfully saucy. There are flirtations with the audience and there are heartwarming tales of acceptance by families and local churches and communities as they support each other through the purging in this most beautifully realised of emancipations.

In a Fringe where gender has been one theatre's vital talking points, this is a show that matters, not just to those already aware of the trans communities, but for those who have no knowledge of them. In this respect Lucas and co aren't presenting a polemic, but a set of deep-rooted stories full of warmth and vulnerability that speaks to anyone en route to discovering their own identity. It's also whip-smart funny in a big-hearted show that only wants the acceptance by others that any of us do.

Belgian avant provocateurs Ontroerend Goed have long pushed the boundaries between performer and spectator. Now, after A Smile on Your Face and Internal put their audiences on the spot in an increasingly intimate fashion, the final part of the trilogy, A Game of You, takes things to the logical limit by allowing the show's sole participant to present a portrait of themselves that's reflected back at them with an honesty that's as incisive as it might be painful.

It begins and ends in a darkened room beside the Traverse's upstairs foyer. Once inside, you're led through a series of red-draped booths, where you are gently but firmly asked to come to terms with your own self-image. What happens over the next thirty minutes really depends on what you're prepared to bring to the party in terms of embracing the moment and being honest. This isn't nearly as traumatic as it sounds in a delicately constructed piece of personal history that's fascinatingly and entertainingly narcissistic and wittily engaging as it allows us a a glimpse at how others see us in the starkest of close-ups.

The Herald, August 27th 2015

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …