Theatre review: Cherie - My Struggle, Imagination Workshop, Edinburgh

A one-woman character study of Cherie Blair, the British QC and wife of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair, seems destined to pale by comparison amid a Fringe which elsewhere features a show by Mrs Blair's real-life half-sister.

Cherie - My Struggle, Imagination Workshop (Venue 328)

Cherie - My Struggle, Imagination Workshop, Edinburgh * * *

Yet this piece from writer Lloyd Evans and director David Verrey is an engagingly put-together hour which seeks to go beyond a simple recital of the main points of Blair's Wikipedia biography, in favour of trying to uncover some of the motivation behind a career which glitters in its own right, as well as catching some of the reflected - and now very tarnished - glory of her husband.

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Looming large in this story is Blair's working class childhood as Cherie Booth, daughter of the actor Tony Booth, whom we are told proudly described himself as a 'crumpeteer', and whose departure from the family Cherie and her mother and sister read about in the local paper, with the birth announcement of a half-sibling (our protagonist’s relationship with the press only deteriorates from there)

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"A difficult childhood is usually invented later by a difficult adult," she declares later, brushing past the father she can’t forget. Mary Ryder balances warmth and drive as Blair, and Evans’ amusing script gives us the expected cameos from Gordon Brown, Alistair Campbell and Jeremy Corbyn, as well as the unlikely image of the Queen and Margaret Thatcher doing the dishes together.

Until 25 August