Theatre review: This Script, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

Jenny Lindsay: Talking about gender with poetic insight
Jenny Lindsay: Talking about gender with poetic insight
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Food and feminism – both are policed. Is what you can and can’t say getting as restrictive as what you can’t and can’t eat? Does the prospect of a piece about “sex, gender and feminism” fill you with joy or fear and, if so, why?

This Script, Scottish Storytelling Centre – The Netherbow Theatre at Fringe (Venue 30) * * * *

Within a few minutes, creator-narrator Jenny Lindsay has dissected the connotations, or scripts, of numerous familiar words and phrases, including the kind of spoken word poetry show that she’s performing.

The way women’s characters and roles are defined through time by reiterated words and repackaged ideas, are woven into witty, short pieces – a ‘girl script’ where different role models exist for different generations but the underlying messages are often the same. In between, Lindsay gives chatty, behind-the-scenes insights into her life and the stories behind the poems in a way that compresses the atmosphere of the spacious theatre into homely living room.

More a collection of thematically connected poems than a fully developed piece of theatre, its structure is built around intellectual debate, rather than something more character-driven – although Lindsay is a warm and engaging narrator.

READ MORE: Fringe review round-up: 4 one-woman shows

A reoccurring theme of “the that”, a traumatic event from her past is ever-present, but never fully spoken of, despite the pressure she feels from #MeToo to reveal it in the name of empowerment – something that is presented as yet another contradictory script, as is her desire to “drink with idiots”, men who she can disagree with and still have a laugh, full of rattling, disintegrating language.

Laughter, Lindsay says, in is the difference between real sex and the cold, constructed sex of porn films – and, through this piece, she brings a refreshingly sense of joy to subject matter that is often debated in a much more humourless space in a way that ignores the contradictions and complexities that she is happy to embrace.

Until 11 August.

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