Theatre review: Bare Skin on Briny Waters

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: From Hull-based Bellow Theatre, two somewhat precious tales of women teetering on the edge.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)

***

From Hull-based Bellow Theatre, two somewhat precious tales of women teetering on the edge.

Annie, a normal lass with aspirations, receives news that her boyfriend Joe has awoken after four years in a coma, news which sends her back to her adolescence and then forward through the last ten years of her life, with a bit too much information about her safe but mundane job in fish processing required to introduce her central fishy metaphor about swimming against the stream. Her hankering for more out of life than traditional stability is credible, sad and, ultimately, tragic in its final twist.

The moment that Sophie introduces the metaphor of Arabian Nights narrator Scheherazade, who told a different story for 1001 nights to stave off her execution, it’s apparent that her own story will not end well but, as she informs us with chilling fortitude, “It’s amazing what you can get used to.”

Their interspersed though unconnected accounts are punctuated or underscored to no great effect by gently picked guitar from Isobel Rogers.

Both women are looking for a way out, though the hopeful note on which they end is surely bittersweet.

Fiona Shepherd

Until 28 August. Today 1pm.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe home page.