Theatre Review: Watching Glory Die Assembly Rooms (Venue 20), Edinburgh

Described by one critic as “a play I suspect the Canadian government would rather you didn’t see”, this heartbreaking drama by leading Canadian playwright Judith Thompson – a multiple award winner in Edinburgh ten years ago for her Iraq War trilogy The Palace Of The End – is loosely based on the real-life case of Canadian teenager Ashley Smith, who died in a women’s prison in Ontario in 2007, aged 19.



After initially being detained for throwing apples at a postman, Ashley, called Glory in the play, endured four years of solitary confinement before her suicide; the penal system could not tolerate her defiant and rebellious character, and finally – fatally – guards were instructed not to intervene in her suicide attempts until she had stopped breathing.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2019: Putting the 'fun' into funerals

In the end, it comes across as a strangely untheatrical experience, focused entirely on the three voices and their words.

Kelli Fox, Kathryn Haggis and Nathanya Barnett all deliver moving and deeply-felt performances, as three women trapped in a system that cannot cope with Glory, and would rather watch her die than make the effort to change.

Until 25 August. Tomorrow 1:50pm