Brett Herriot Review

The Pride Plays, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Review:

The Pride Plays, 

***** 5 Stars

emotional exploration of what makes humans fall in love

February is LGBT History month, with events planned across Scotland to celebrate diversity, and reflect on the LGBT journey to date and shine a light on the journey ahead.  Its taping into the depth of that message that new Edinburgh based theatre company Shift have developed the Pride Plays in association with LS Productions, Traverse Theatre and LGBT History month Scotland.

Over three successive nights, 6 writers from across Scotland have had their worked explored in T2 in the Traverse in the form of rehearsed readings. Scotsgay Arts popped along to the closing night offerings and what a treat it was!

Play 5: Captivity by Drew Taylor- Wilson

The forward for this play says, “ if two subjects of the same sex, are confined for a minimum of six months within an enclosure twelve times the body mass of one specimen, subjects will exert behavioural traits pertaining to, and subsequently perform acts of a homosexual activity”.

What we get is an emotional exploration of what makes humans fall in love, irrespective of the fact it’s a same sex couple. It blends the moral flow of the film “The Truman Show” with the generation defining Big Brother and focuses it light on the Nature verses Nurture debate, are we born gay? Or can a scientific experiment force us to conclude we are gay? This play elegantly written by Taylor-Wilson utilises black comedy along with deep compassion and humanity and is all delivered by a stellar Cast. David Paisley as Benedict is a triumph, for putting across his inner turmoil, to his tour de force expression of emotion whilst declaring his true love for his friend he has been forced to live with ( Colin Jamieson, also in fine fine form). Chloe- Ann Taylor is the Doctors assistant who shows real heart unlike Neshla Caplan as the Doctor in charge. Caplan delivers a true Bitch in every sense of the word. Captivity comes across as strong screen play and feels filmic but with the right designer it would make for a thrilling full stage production.

Play 6: A Rom- Com by Gemma McGinley

This is a smart, fast paced comedy from the pen of McGinley, exams relationships and love without placing the LGBT label upon the characters and using a slightly absurdist abstract notion of inanimate objects as well as humans falling in and out of both love and lust with each other.

A strong ensemble cast featuring Karen Bartke, Adam Kashmiry, Rachel Flynn and Andrew Camerson deliver well on there characters bringing incredible physicality  to each character despite working from scripts on stage and this play gives great balance to the evening and is a fitting closer to the Pride Play season.

The Pride Play delivers what shift has built its theatre company to be, a desire to inspire action, and challenging outdated social and political inequalities. From the viewing we saw they are already delivering on the promise and we look forward to the next season of The Pride Play.

Shift presents The Pride Plays, Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Run Ended.

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