Theatre review: Bone Woman

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: As the bottles clink into the bottle bank, the Bone ­Woman pushes her shopping trolley down the alley, leaving the modern world behind and entering the realm of stories.

Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236)


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Using found spars of wood, she starts to put together her chair, her throne, which ­continues to evolve ­throughout the ­performance. She is on the hunt for “wolf bones, and that which has been lost”.

Using the framing device of the Bone Woman, American storyteller Imani G ­Alexander slips into stories from ­different cultures: Irish, ­Mexican, Inuit. Bones play a part in all of them.

Alexander is a fine performer, not only telling the stories but inhabiting the characters, and expressing herself in song and movement as well as tales. All the tellers of the tales are female, women who are in danger of being punished for being “too wise, or wicked, or wild”.

It’s a strange, ­atmospheric, intriguing show about ­gathering up what might ­otherwise be lost, and breathing life into what appears to be dead. Running right through it is the image of bones which, like the stories, provide a structure on which the rest of life can be built.

Until 26 August. Today 9.55pm.