Tag Archives: Pleasance Dome


at Pleasance Grand, Sunday 11th August 2013

*Originally written for Culture Wars*

The experiences of youth are central to the construction of who we are in adulthood. The relationship of our parents, our ideas about love and the songs we sing all become etched into our more mature consciousness, feeding into our own perception of identity and the way we behave. In Gecko’s Missing, the experience of the past becomes essential to the lived experience of the present, in a production which, like our memory, works through images which drift in and out of each other, ebbing and flowing with each particular moment.

Lily is a hard-working businesswoman who gets married during the opening sequence of the piece. Continue reading “Missing”



at Pleasance Dome, Wednesday 7th August 2013

*Originally written for Culture Wars*

*Quick bit of housekeeping: I went to university with some of the people involved in this show and know them pretty well. But that doesn’t change my feelings about the show as I’d be able to tell them if I thought it was pants. Which it’s not*

How much choice do we have over our own lives? There are many things we can change about ourselves, but there’s one thing which is prescribed from birth and which we can only change through a long and complex process: our sex. In Specie, people can change their sexual organs at will, creating a whole new understanding of gender. In FatGit Theatre’s production, the idea of choice is celebrated in a production which doesn’t try and move too fast, allowing us to take it all in.

The story (penned by Joe White) spans a good couple of decades, telling the story of how a young girl (Lily) became a boy (Louis) at the choice of his parents, Continue reading “Specie”

“Dirty Great Love Story” by Richard Marsh & Katie Bonna

at Pleasance Dome, Monday 20th August 2012

Ordinarily, I’m not a rom-com fan. They’re too soppy for my liking. Dirty Great Love Story, however, is a romantic comedy which I can bear. More than bear. I could watch it over and over again. Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna’s script takes the genre and offers up a more truthful, twenty-first century rendition. A mix of performance poetry, theatre and comedy creates a show which is laugh-out-loud funny and will leave you with a smile bigger than the Cheshire Cat’s.

Bonna and Marsh play Katie and Rich, who had a one-night stand and now have to deal with the consequences. They go through phases of liking and then disliking one another, becoming friends and then worst enemies. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the fact they are each aware of the other is the only thing which remains constant. The story is an old one. The way in which is presented is semi-revolutionary.

The text is a weird mix of verse and comedic patter, maintaining a constant rhythm whilst simultaneously talking directly to us in asides and one-liners. The fact poetry is used is particularly effective, either allowing us to see where the next line is going or surprising us with an unexpected rhyme or a complete subversion of the rhythm. It also means a whimsical, romantic tone is placed upon this raw, modern story about sex and roadside cafes, reminding us we are not being told anything new, but having it told to us in a different way.

It’s difficult to describe just how or why Dirty Great Love Story is so tonsil-waggingly hilarious. The images Bonna and Marsh create are gloriously imaginative, and their tone while telling them is just too real to not laugh. We can all relate to this, no matter how; we have all been as blind, stupid, and infuriatingly unkind as the couple. All we can do is laugh at them. It’s a kind of catharsis.

Pia Furtado’s simple staging revels in the beauty of the language, making simple, bold moves which never cloud the telling of the story. It is smart and slick, forcing us to listen to what’s being said. The choice to keep both actors on stage the whole way through (even when the other is monologue-ing) is also an intelligent one; these two characters are always in each other’s worlds, and even when they are furthest apart they can still sense the other.

Dirty Great Love Story deserves a longer run and bigger audiences than it is currently enjoying in Edinburgh. This is a plea to all theatre programmers out there to book this show in your schedules. It’ll sell out, I promise. Within a year, this show will be huge, so you’d better get there first. Bonna and Marsh have crafted a gloriously hopeful, wonderfully compelling and refreshingly witty piece of theatre which both makes us laugh and restores our faith in those around us. It also makes rom-com haters love a rom-com. So book it. Everyone deserves to see this show.