The F Words

Aug 24 2016 | By More

★★☆☆☆   Lacking in fury

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209) 15 – 27 Aug 2016
Review by Hugh Simpson

There is a pleasing energy and political commitment to Pinched! Theatre’s feminist entertainment The F Words at Greenside, but as a show it fails to cohere.

A revue-style collection created by director Kirsten McPake, Holly Wedgwood and the cast, its heart is undoubtedly in the right place, but good intentions can only carry it so far. Particularly when compared to the same company’s impressive Indie as Fuck from last year’s Fringe, it comes across as rushed, unfinished and far too short.

The F Words cast. Photo Felix Adamson

The F Words cast. Photo Felix Adamson

There are items linked to various words beginning with F that reflect on being female in 2016, but the connections are tenuous and not enough to hold a show together.

Several good ideas surface that never quite make it to the stage of a finished scene. There can be no doubt about the importance of the message, and some of the points made – such as the way that pink was regarded as a boy’s colour not so long ago – demand to be heard, but there is little to back it up.

Indeed, some of the ideas – such as an unpredictable set of historic feminist icons ranging from Cleopatra to Princess Diana, who are merely presented with no attempt at exploration, analysis or entertainment – defy any rational explanation.

The musical items are similarly undercooked, with the movement being repetitive and padding out the show’s already short running time to an unacceptable degree.

As with many cast-devised shows, there seems to be a lack of an overall vision. Two of the better structured segments are credited to an outside writer – Naby Savane – and other parts lack real cohesion.

The cast – Wedgwood, Dominique Haig, Margareta Mara, Faye Ryden, Ruth Langley and Eilidh McLaughlin – cannot be faulted for promise or enthusiasm; Haig in particularly has a definite comic flair. What they need is a more structured vehicle.

Running time: 35 minutes (no interval)
Greenside @ Nicolson Square (Venue 209), 25 Nicolson Square, EH8 9BX
Monday 15 – Saturday 27 August 2016 (not Sun 21)
Mon 15 – Sat 20 11.10 pm; Mon 22 – Sat 27 4.10 pm
Book tickets on the EdFringe website: website:
Twitter: @PinchedTheatre


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