Theatre review: Queen of the F*cking World

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: It’s a big title to live up to – but Marysia Trembecka certainly looks ready to give it a go, with a her bass guitar, silver dress and big, pouffy rock star hair.

The Street (Venue 239)


With a voice like Debbie Harry, she delivers low-key loosely connected anecdotes and lo-fi songs, accompanied by Xander Smith, who provides other-worldly droning sounds from the tech box.

More a cabaret show than a theatre performance, set in the extremely cosy basement of The Street bar, our host delivers a lighthearted musical lecture on how to be “queen of our f*cking worlds”. Her character is apparently based on Irina Arkadina from Chekhov’s The Seagull, but her on-stage persona could really do with being developed beyond a punchy look and a spiky attitude.

There are some interesting insights into inequality and changing attitudes towards sexuality over history, as well as a story about growing up and finding a partner, being gay, and then not being gay, which fizzles out.

The more predictable idea that stripping is empowering is developed into an audience participation sequence that proves some people don’t want or need to do faux pole dancing to “get in touch with their sexuality”.

Until 26 August. Today 6:30pm.