Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Helga '“ Life of Diva Extraordinaire

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Circus artist Henni Kervinen plays the ageing diva of the title in this show which is part of a series of Finnish work on the Fringe.

C South (Venue 58)


Ageing Helga, shuffling about in her mismatched clothes, is living on past glories, memories of her life as a glamorous cabaret and trapeze artist.

But a lot has happened since then. She has had a child, who grows up and leaves home. She has had a cat – which seems to grow into something roughly the size of an elephant – then it leaves too. Now she is lonely and bored, with only the radio, a bottle of spirits and her memories for company.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

All this is conveyed with a mixture of clowning and mime which tends towards being heavy-handed in both its humour and its pathos. But when Helga shows us her performance, first as her younger self, then as the woman she is now, we see what the play is really getting at: the sadness and loneliness of ageing, and the determination to hold on to something of the self in the face of gradually diminishing capacities.

Until 27 August. Today 1:30pm.