THE­ATRE OTH­ERs Plea­sance court­yard (Venue 33) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

tHe leeDS-BASeD paper Birds com­pany are a re­mark­able bunch. In 2008, this three­woman col­lec­tive cre­ated In

A Thou­sand Pieces, one of the first shows to look di­rectly at Bri­tish at­ti­tudes to the 21stcen­tury sex traf­fick­ing that goes on in their midst; and this year, they’ve come to ed­in­burgh with a new show, equally fo­cused on women’s lives, that takes an ex­cit­ing, if still ten­ta­tive, look at the huge dif­fer­ences in ex­pe­ri­ence that may – or may not – cre­ate bar­ri­ers to real fe­male sol­i­dar­ity.

the show was cre­ated through a project that in­volved writ­ing to a range of women who seemed to have very dif­fer­ent lives from the paper Birds team.

One is an Ira­nian woman, an­other a pris­oner serv­ing a sen­tence for an un­named crime; and then there are the celebri­ties, di­vided from us by the ap­par­ently glit­ter­ing prizes of wealth and fame.

With Scot­land-based ac­tress Maryam Hamidi added to the cast, the paper Birds ex­plore their ma­te­rial in their usual com­plex style, which is finely chore­ographed but of­ten looks ca­sual and im­pro­vised to the point of whimsy. they ar­gue with Shane, the only man around, who is in charge of the mu­sic. they clus­ter around an arm­chair to stare at the au­di­ence and tell us their im­pres­sions; and most strik­ingly, they move like a fe­male hu­man tide through and round and across a set full of small, iso­lated do­mes­tic de­tails – framed pic­tures, a cup­board, a tele­vi­sion set.

In the end, they seem to be­come ab­sorbed by their di­a­logue with celebrity, to the ex­clu­sion of the other is­sues they raise. For a show still in the early stages of devel­op­ment, though, Oth­ers is a mem­o­rably com­plex and in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence; and com­pletely, force­fully fe­male, from start to fin­ish.

JOycE McMillAn

Un­til 29 Au­gust. To­day, 3:20pm

Pic­ture: Jane Bar­low

Jemma McDonnell, Kylie Walsh and Maryam Hamidi ex­am­ine sol­i­dar­ity

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