Edinburgh Festival Fringe: There can be few better places to put on a play about homelessness than the luxury accommodation of this Hilton Hotel, part of which has been transformed into a Fringe venue.
theSpace on North Bridge (Venue 36)
Who knows whether this irony is deliberate or not, but it’s great to see this piece of community-based theatre taking place here.
The majority of the cast have suffered homelessness and the show is based on their experiences. They are not professional actors, but they bring truth, humanity and humour to a desperate situation that all of us are, apparently, only three steps away from experiencing.
We follow the story of Danny (Scott Elder), who’s ended up on the street and is battling the Orwellian bureaucracy of the benefits system, which is aptly represented by a scowling puppet (performed by Lee Holland). Musical numbers, accompanied by “wandering minstrel” Gary Walker, create an imaginative otherworldly feel not normally associated with this kind of work.
After many of the scenes the audience applauded, as if we’re in a self-help group rather than a theatre performance.
But the company has no need for condescending smiles: by the time Danny concludes that it’s hard to “follow your dreams” when you have nothing, you certainly understand why.
Until 11 August. Today 3:25pm.