Theatre review: Shiver, theSpace on the Mile, Edinburgh

A thoughtfully written and engaging monologue
A thoughtfully written and engaging monologue
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Like a potted Downton Abbey, Polly Waldron's one-woman show, based upon tales from her family history, follows the journeys of two sisters at the start of the 20th century – one who ends up working as servant and the other who enters the male-dominated world of medicine.

Shiver, theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39) * * *

It's a thoughtfully written and engaging monologue, which encapsulates both the challenges and innocence of a bygone era through the two women's lives and a rich tapestry of supporting characters who populate the play's world.

This is a place where ladies write letters, mysterious men from Russia provide intrigue and trips to Mrs Moore's for doughnuts are a regular occurrence. However, it is also one of limited opportunities for women, where having a baby without a husband isn't an option.

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The passing of time, and changing of women's roles through WWI, the 1920s, and on into the swinging 50s, flows through Waldron's perfectly pitched performance and small but skilfully structured script.

The 'shivers of time' she describes may be in the past but, through this gem-like show, are also in the room today, along with members of Waldron's real-life family who are clearly delighted to see their history celebrated in such a sensitive and engaging way.

Until 24 August

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