Tickbox 2

Aug 17 2023 | By More

★★★☆☆     Quietly assertive

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33): Wed 2 – Sun 27 Aug 2023
Review by Hugh Simpson

Lubna Kerr’s Tickbox 2 at the Pleasance Courtyard may not be an entirely new play, but still has a great deal to say to everyone.

Despite the title, this is a subtle reworking of her earlier show Tickbox (reviewed here) rather than a sequel. Relating the story of Kerr’s life, it tells of her family moving from a comfortable life in Pakistan to a tenement flat in Govan so her father could undertake postgraduate studies at Strathclyde.

It goes on to detail the culture shocks and the everyday racism and sexism, as well as the togetherness, with a gentle yet insistent humour.

Lubna Kerr in Tickbox 2. Pic Lubna Kerr

Now directed by Jairus Obayomi, this revised version seems to put more stress on the prejudice the family encountered, but the story is still told in a manner accessible to all ages from about eight years up.

The stories of the Brownies and school will chime with many, while the dismissal of a man previously called ‘Professor’ in Pakistan will sting. There is a familiar, almost cliched, strain to the descriptions of Scottish life that makes the experiences of someone coming from outside all the more striking.

considerable stagecraft

The production is well considered, although it does suffer from the old Fringe problem of being a low-key affair mounted in a box in a noisy courtyard. Kerr’s commanding presence and gentle humour speak of considerable stagecraft, and even when things start to meander a little it is still absorbing.

There is a truth to this which is all the more forceful for not being presented too forcefully; instead, it is done with grace and inner steel.

Running time One hour and 5 minutes (no interval)
Pleasance Courtyard (The Green), 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ (Venue 33),
Wednesday 2 – Sunday 27August 2023
Daily (not 16, 23) at 5.00 pm
Tickets and details: Book here.

Lubna Kerr links

Facebook: @lubna.kerr

Instagram: @lubnakerr

Twitter: @LubnaKerr

The Tickbox 2 Set. Pic Lubna Kerr



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