Brave Face

Edinburgh Fringe
theSpace @ Symposium Hall – Main Theatre
28th Aug, 2021


Brave Face at the 2021 Fringe was another very interesting play about the life of a woman taking on the world in her own way. The plush Lecture Theatre at Symposium Hall was such a great place to take in theatre; perfect for all concerned. The blue leather luxury seating sloped into rows and the stage was never far from our noses. I felt as though in Theatre nudity is an outstanding and favoured way to express something. I’m sure the ancient Greeks would have used it. It all hinges on the take of it.

So when the play began she was lying on the floor covered by a large linen sheet; she sprang out wearing only her panties. Here it is she said, these are tits on stage. I was caught unawares and it worked to my great surprise. Women in the audience took this as a good sign. It was a revealing moment of courage set against a scene she was yet to paint; a fete for the records.

This disturbing drama was entirely created by her, as she played her naked scene she invited us to laugh at the comedy, she was in the hands of the stage that would be her undoing and her success. With her body, naked or clothed, (she slipped on a very attractive red and white and tight dress we knew without a bra,) she leaped from her table, danced very precariously on her table, mixing a little cirque du soleil into the magical mix.

But her dark stories took their turns and resulted in blackouts of fear, and evil distortion. The physical side of things had her working very hard and brought about admiration and worked as part of her plots as much as the dialogue.

She would describe in upsetting detail (why not be upset by this) of sexual encounters that had gone badly wrong, it was good to see and hear this honesty. She stood on her table and ran on the spot to a moving picture on a large screen above her. The art of this came through with clear implications and worked as part of the build up of naked art being performed.

She took to life in other ways with scenes of normality, all from her point of view. Enlarging the play that was full on, yet very gentle and loving at least skin deep. She also took to describing her loves and showed us how it felt to have love made to her, excited and thrilled. She noticed bruises, splitting into the two selves’ one her and the other on screen.

Looking into a mirror with pangs of conscience laid upon her by her lover, friend and tormentor. Stop she told him “Stop” as she simulated the act, “Let me finish” was the response. The act was to unravel with a sweetness that was innocently realised and a smile that would not vanish. It was to bring our attention to the far spreading story of mental and physical abuse perpetrated by men upon woman, all of whom are missing out on the real tides of being together.

It implored us to start to recognise this for a full hour of a greatly created and performed play advancing itself in every way. Just listen, watch to hear and see a meaningful work at play with straight forwardly difficult, energetic manoeuvres, heartrending show of strength and of someone ready to do battle. In a raw show coming from experience explained to be brutal and sadly enhanced  

act of female chivalry in sex to the act of doing it.

Well charged dialogue, dancing, enacting play with ever so careful plots to make sure we didn’t leave without an assured sense that someone cares and loves us, especially of this common circumstance. Well worth a visit out side he fringe as well, congrats, what a Brave Face, indeed.

Daniel Donnelly


Posted on August 30, 2021, in 2021. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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