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Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Ginger Nation

Shawn Hitchins

Genre: Solo Show

Venue: The Dram House


Low Down

"Shawn Hitchins’ fiery account as a sperm donor to a lesbian couple is hilarious and heartfelt. On his personal mission to repopulate the earth with redheads, Hitchins recounts memories from adolescence, brushes with celebrity, feats of masturbation, and discovers what it means to be ginger and proud."


This is Shawn Hitchins’ solo account of being a sperm donor to a lesbian couple. Hitchins is a red headed Canadian stand up storyteller. He’s a ginger. A copper top. A minority, one of the 1% of red heads on Earth. He’s also blue eyed and gay. He’s also an accessible, fired up performer.
I went to this show because there was a story promised amongst the well honed stand up. A story is told from a performer on top of his material, generous in his delivery and informed in his theme and content.
A man on a mission to save the ginger race, even into donating sperm to a lesbian couple, the hour felt rich, full of intelligence and razor sharp self-obseervation with plenty of family life and the human condition thrown into the mix.
Hitchins manages to deliver a human touch to this true tale whilst maintaining a flow of sharp comedy which energises the story and only occasionally overshadowing it. Little tangents and side routines mostly add to the fun and give the routine some texture. And there’s plenty of funny comedy here with hardly a space for breath. It’s a high octane style of delivery, scripted with room for improvisation, and tender moments are conspicuous by their absence. Yet I sense there were tender and softer moments in this account and sharing them more would have added some subtlety to the narrative.
The script is strong and the pace and interest never falters. Hitchins is a endearing perforner, giving it his all and connecting with his audience. It’s a skillfully written script and his timing is nearly always pitch perfect with plenty of emotional oomph.
This is scripted solo theatre really and it’s delivered with confidence, heart and fluent self-confidence. And this is no straightforward linear narrative. This is about that oh f**k moment of realisation.
We’re on fertile comedy ground here. This is a story well worth listening to, brought to life each night at the Dram House.  Oh and there’s a bit of Le Cock mime worthy of an Oscar nomination. A delightfully penned and delivered true story.


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