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 from...
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What's On? 23.08.17

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What's On? 23.08.17 A trove of good films coming out, clashing with the final weekend of the Festival. I haven't even seen Charlize Theron's kick-arse action movie Atomic Blonde but how can I say no to Soderbergh's Logan Lucky with Adam Driver and Daniel Craig doing a heist in the American Mid West? And what of Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit about the r...
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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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Charlottesville 20.08.17

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Charlottesville 20.08.17 Morning has broken with a quiet Sunday, the only interruptions a crow cawing in the distance, and the sound of typing from a student on a table nearby. My mind drifts. I became addicted to the news this week, lesson preparations taking hours more than necessary as I kept returning to the stories about Charlottesville. ...
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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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A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story 19.08.17 It's a meditation on death and what happens after, as the trailer suggests. The reviews too have come to this conclusion and I agree, David Lowery's A Ghost Story expresses something of what death means to us, the awful emptiness of it, if you really think about it without the gloss of religion. Because the emotion I felt thr...
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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 as...
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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Inconvenient-Sequel
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 12.08.17 There I sat in a front row seat in the Cameo cinema (the room sold out), waiting for the film to start. A mawkish musical montage came on once, and then a second time, to groans from the audience. We waited as Al Gore prepared to have his question-and-answer down in London at Picturehouse HQ, simultan...
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What's On?

Gore
What's On? 11.08.17 This is usually a small and simple post to do, but with the Festival in full swing in Edinburgh, my head is turned a dozen different ways. There are trans-based shows in Edinburgh at the Traverse theatre, one named Adam (about being a trans man) and the other predictably called Eve starring the playwright and actress Jo Clifford...
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Something Off My Chest

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Something Off My Chest 11.08.17 I've been on hormones for a year, and perhaps it's time to say something about the way my body's changing. How to do so without sounding crude? But I'd earlier thought a suitable title for this post might be Tits Up, so already this post is better than it could have been. For a few weeks now, I've started to go out w...
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Edinburgh Just Festival 11.08.17

Just-Festival
Edinburgh Just Festival 11.08.17 I haven't been on stage before as a trans person, but I will have my fifteen minutes this coming Friday, on 11 August, at Edinburgh's Just Festival. The festival-within-a-festival serves to create a safe space for dialogue, and I'm joining that dialogue, as I discuss perceptions surrounding trans people in modern so...
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 05.08.17 It's meant to be terrible, but all I can think about right now is how Luc Besson's Valerian is better than James Cameron's Avatar (2009). There are, I insist, comparisons to be made, none of them flattering to the inexplicably lauded Avatar. Let's start with the overview: they're both sci-fi bloc...
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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk 29.07.17 Dunkirk is a strange film, as much about the channel of water between two countries as the aforementioned nations at war. I read somewhere that director Chris Nolan sailed the English Channel in his youth and the experience was formative to him. This is evident, the film's photography sometimes shows the war as pinpricks on th...
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Dining Out

Scotmid
Dining Out 28.07.17 Edinburgh is well into pre-festival mode, and I have already attended its film festivals (one quite good film for £10), its jazz and blues festival (one quite good band, also £10) and its food one (one burger for £5, a single-scoop ice-cream for about £3 and a bit of free cake). You may say: Gina, you're really splashing the cas...
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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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My Love of Ozzy Osbourne

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My Love of Ozzy Osbourne 23.07.17 That's of, not for, in that the object of my passion is a band whose 1980s heavy rock I still feel something for. As for the man called Ozzy Osbourne who fronted and sang, and whose charisma and status gave the band its stardom, I have mixed feelings. Why write about him, about them, the band? Perhaps simply, I've ...
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War for the Planet of the Apes

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War for the Planet of the Apes 22.07.17 Another slick, exciting offering from the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes (WFTPOTA) is as tense a piece of story-telling as it is emotionally uninvolving afterwards. I left wondering not what happens next in this franchise, but why I felt so detached beyond the screening room door...
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David Lynch: The Art Life

David-Lynch
David Lynch: The Art Life 16.07.17 I had a choice, to go and watch the latest Planet of the Apes blockbuster, or a documentary about a director whose art deeply disturbs me. Well, there's always next week for the apes, or next year for the sequel. I don't think there will be a sequel for David Lynch: The Art Life, simply because his storytelling is...
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Friendships in Edinburgh

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Friendships in Edinburgh 15.07.17 Saturday evening, and outside a band is playing. It's July and the festivals are coming back to Edinburgh; already, the park at the centre of George Square has been taken over with fences and security and people in red coats whose purpose is mysterious. Just over two weeks from now, this city will become the larges...
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