Moonlight on Leith

Aug 23 2018 | By More

★★★★☆    Inspiring

Bar Bados Complex (venue 32): Sat 4 – Sat 25 Aug 2018.
Review by Sarah Moyes

Stories of Leith are shared and celebrated in this new production, Moonlight on Leith, inspired by the Save Leith Walk campaign.

Local Leithers Laila Noble, Emilie Robson and Laura Grace Caldwell return to the Fringe with their all-female managed theatre company, Clarty Burd, and a show full of spoken word, poetry, and comedy about the people who call Leith their home.

The Clarty Burd company. Pic: Clarty Burd.

The Clarty Burd company. Pic: Clarty Burd.

Inspired by Dylan Thomas’s Under the Milk Wood, Moonlight on Leith tells the story of an array of different characters you might meet during an evening spent walking from the Shore to Leith Walk. If you’re familiar with the area, then you’ll recognise some of the places the show visits – from hipsters drinking craft beer in Woodland Creatures to students stumbling out the Hive nightclub and down Leith Walk in a bid to find a bed for the night.

The small cast of five – Jamie Stokes, Emilie Robson, Victoria Lunt, Alison MacFarlane and Nichole Cook – appear on stage wearing dungarees and holding torches. The props are few and far between, but they are not needed here as this young and talented cast take turns to narrate the story and act out the parts of various individuals.

There’s Sandy, a prostitute who doesn’t work Sundays (something to do with God); Hank, a French cat who loves mackerel; and Flora Potts who wishes her husband would pay her more attention rather than feeling like she’s married to a newspaper among others.

In recent months, the people of Leith have been reunited in a bid to stop the demolition of a large building on Leith Walk which includes one of the city’s great music venues, Leith Depot, so it’s fitting that some of the characters should reflect that. As some of the cast take their seats among the audience, the room turns into a community meeting with Mr Glum, the aptly named character who represents Drum Property, the company behind the demolition plans.


The show is fast-paced, cleverly switching back and forth between the stories and only focusing on each one for around a minute at a time. It holds the audience’s attention well and helps the characters to develop as it progresses.

The small and intimate venue works well for the show, despite the noise from the room next door. However, you can’t help but think it’s a real shame that it isn’t actually being performed in Leith itself.

Moonlight on Leith is here to remind us why local community is worth fighting for. A heartfelt and refreshing show that will make anyone want to Save Leith Walk!

Running time: 50 minutes (no interval)
Bar Bados Complex (venue 32), 65 Cowgate, EH1 1JW
Saturday 4 – Saturday 25 August 2018
Daily, not Tuesdays, 8pm.

Tickets –
Web –
Facebook – @ClartyBurd
Twitter – @ClartyBurd


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