Edinburgh Fringe 2009
And they lived…
Rachel Rose Reid
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Festival: Edinburgh Fringe
Rachel Rose Reid is a chip off the old storytelling block with a very contemporary feel. Mixing stories, songs and verse, she delivers a warm and enriching show with a very different feel from much else on offer at the Courtyard. Its storytelling, but not as you know it.
Rachel Rose Reid sits quietly in the corner as the audience files in. But from the moment the lights go down, she lights up the evening with a blend of charm, skill and hard work. She invokes tales from times long past and delivers them with a modern verve, panache and styling.
The audience are fully engaged. Not confronted, but encouraged to be engaged, the audience together provide the backbeat and the sound effects which help the stories come alive. Rachel doesn’t bully and hector as seems sadly the norm at this year’s Fringe. Rather, she includes and enthralls, recognising that its in the relationship between the storyteller and the audience that the story emerges.
She is young and will develop into a very fine performer. There has been a lot of hype around her in recent months. Much of it is deserved. She is very talented, very engaging, very warm. She needs to tie the show together more. It can appear disjointed. The audience participation doesn’t always lead somewhere, but sort of drifts away. The connections between the different elements need more work. It would be interesting not just to hear her deliver traditional tales in a contemporary style, but for her to rewrite those tales in a present-day setting as others before her, such as Angela Carter, have done.
Rachel Rose Reid had one of the friendliest receptions I have heard this Fringe. She deserves it, for the performance she gives and for the entertainment without the ego she provides.