Edinburgh Theatre

The year 2015-2016 was a big year for me, coming to Edinburgh after working in the Middle East for several years. One of the first things I did was visit the Festival Theatre, where I fell in love with modern dance (I hate dancing, so don’t switch off if you are also not a dancer). Although I intend to continue visiting the Festival, I will also be trying out other venues, for modern dance, drama, ballet and opera.

Resisting Whiteness

Resisting-Whiteness
Resisting Whiteness (Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh) Organized by a collective of queer and trans people of colour in Edinburgh and Glasgow, yesterday's Resisting Whiteness combined both conference and safe-space for people of colour to discuss generally (but not only) LGBTQIA+ issues seldom if ever discussed in white-majority spaces. A sell-out thre...
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Sod's Law (Edinburgh Festival)

Sodslaw
Sod's Law (Edinburgh Festival) A posh young aristo, singing lectures about fisting and 'man twats,' Sod's Law is a rather wonderful exploration of the history of homosexuality from the time of Henry VIII to the 21 st century. From the court of the English Tudor monarch through Molly Houses and Oscar Wilde, we get observations on various legislation...
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Trans Pennine

trans-pennine-edinburgh-fringe
Trans Pennine (Edinburgh Festival) A gentle, generally light, small-scale drama, Trans Pennine explores family life after the death of the wife/mother, and a suppressed secret that finally comes out. Of the three-person cast, an embittered husband/father is required to confront a past he'd rather not remember, with the aid of his grown-up son and d...
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Pussy Riot + The Estrons (Edinburgh Festival)

Pussy-Riot-and-The-Estrons-II
Pussy Riot + The Estrons (Edinburgh Festival) You say 'punk,' I think of skinny men with psycho eyes, about to launch themselves at you with Doc Marten feet and broken beer bottles. Punk as frustrated patriarchy, turned in on itself, lashing out at anyone who comes near. I'm so glad, then, that I went to watch the mesmerizing Pussy Riot last n...
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Edinburgh Book Festival: Precarious Freedoms panel

Edinburgh-Book-Festival-panel-image
​ Precarious Freedoms: Queer Perspectives From Around The World (Edinburgh Book Festival) Last night I attended a panel event at the Edinburgh Book Festival, its importance too great not to write about. Though much was discussed, the theme of trans visibility and invisibility wound its way around much that brought anger, but also hope to the f...
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The Lady Boys of Bangkok (Edinburgh Festival)

lady-boys-of-bangkok-III
  The Lady Boys of Bangkok (Edinburgh Festival) Their Big Top tent is located on the waste ground between plush apartments and offices – a no-man's land of genderfuck exotica. You walk along Fountainbridge road to see the gathering throng of taxis and the groups of all ages, their glad-rags on. The people are on their Frida...
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Adam (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 28.08.17

Adam
Adam (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 28.08.17 This was a slick, creative piece of theatre, inventive in its use of characterisation, stage and language. The duality of particular words is turned into a key recurring theme, and language itself – English compared with Arabic – is explored in relation to gender. As I left the theatre, having been part of ...
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Eve (Theatre, Edinburgh Festival) 27.08.17

Eve-III
Eve (Theatre, Edinburgh Festival) 27.08.17 Actress/writer Jo Clifford's telling of her life story, Eve , to the accompaniment of photos and occasional background music, produces the expected; it is poignant and sometimes sad, though ultimately has you feeling relieved for her. Like Kate O'Donnell's You've Changed , it charts the trans experience fr...
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Cirkopolis (Circus, Edinburgh Festival)

Cirkopolis
Cirkopolis (Circus, Edinburgh Festival) 21.08.17 Cirkopolis does not lack ambition. Filling a conference room on a daily basis in Edinburgh, drawing audiences with its eye-catching promotion of themes of dystopia set to acrobatics, it offers a conceptually alluring promise of extreme highs (literally) and a brutalist background of 1920s German sci-...
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Skin (Dance, Edinburgh Festival)

Skin
Skin (Dance, Edinburgh Festival) 19.08.17 Dark, smart and serious, Skin emerges like an urban sci-fi, combining euphoria with torment in low-lit orange lighting, the spotlights and the menace of the dancers. The ending is one of several moments that leave a lasting image: of balaclava'd figures, their backs turned to the audience and to the protago...
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You've Changed (Drama, Edinburgh Festival)

Youve-changed
You've Changed (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 14.08.17 After the crude and clichéd anti-climax that was Testosterone , I approached Kate O'Donnell's one-woman show about her transgender transition with trepidation. You've Changed as it turns out is both less offensive and less of a risk-taker as a show; true, O'Donnell strips and presents her vagina a...
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Testosterone (Drama, Edinburgh Festival)

Testosterone
Testosterone (Drama, Edinburgh Festival) 12.08.17 It started well, a personal story by Kit Redstone about his trans journey to manhood. Then a moment came when one of his co-actors donned a blond wig, corset accompanied with tassles, sparkling underwear and black stilettos, in a narrow, sexualized expression of male-to-female gender cross...
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Summer in London: interview with Ash Palmisciano

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Summer in London is a play written and directed by celebrated playwright Rikki Beadle-Blair, and is currently being performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London (8-29 July). It features an all-trans cast, including up-and-coming star Ash Palmisciano, who has kindly agreed to be interviewed by me for Edinburgh Trance. Ash, first of all, c...
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Richard Alston Dance Company

Richard Alston Dance Company
23/09/16, The Richard Alston Dance Company at the Festival Theatre Modern dance is a new passion of mine. I came to Edinburgh in the autumn of 2015 and signed up to watch a series of shows at the Festival Theatre. The modern dance acts all through the year swept me away, so much more than ballet – which sticks to a story you kind-of have to follow....
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What's On! 22/9/2016

What's On! 22/9/2016
What's on? 22/09/16 I have a much better idea of what I'd like to do over the coming weekend, no David Bowie uncertainties for me this time. Speaking of which, following last week's entry for 'What's On?', I didn't follow it up with a review of the Bowie film The Man Who Fell to Earth because – although I did go and watch it at the Cameo cinema – I...
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The Festival’s Last Hours

The Festival’s Last Hours
They call it the gloaming, as something more than just a synonym for dusk. That special light, at once melancholy and life-affirming, it's a mood where people sit outside and watch the last of the light disappearing, and know that when they go back indoors, it's over. You close the curtains, and the last breath for doing something is gone for anoth...
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Teatro Delusio (Pleasance, Grand)

Teatro Delusio (Pleasance, Grand)
​ Having attended only comedy and cabaret thus far, it was finally the turn of theatre for me at the Edinburgh festival. This act intrigued because of their use of masks; three men playing several roles, without speech. The scenario also has a lot of potential: we are 'behind stage' with a father and his two sons looking after the technical side of...
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