Theatre review: Snakes and Giants

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The Flanagan Collective have made a name for themselves on the Fringe as purveyors of work (Fable, Beulah) which tends towards the poetic and mythical, combining elements of storytelling and song.

Star rating: ***

Venue: Summerhall (Venue 26)

This year, they are emphasising the strengths of the women in the company with an all-female two-hander.

In Alexander Wright’s play about the nature of home and belonging, Ali (Holly Beasley-Garrigan) has moved back to the Yorkshire coast, where she grew up, after breaking up with the love of her life. Shenna (Veronica Hare) is old, mythically so, once part of the land itself, and waiting to be reunited with it. On the eve of the summer solstice, both find themselves on the cliff tops.

Their interweaving stories are told with the added dimension of music – some very fine singing, one could wish for more – and the placing of objects which Ali has bought for her new flat. The sense of place and weather is beautifully evoked. The play’s weakness is that Ali’s story is more fully realised, while the precise nature of who Shenna is and how their paths cross remains something of a mystery.

Until 27 August. Today 7pm.

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