Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Following her sell-out show Bonnie Fechters at last year’s Fringe, performer/writer/director Morna Burdon returns with more inspiring stories about women of courage. The focus this time is women worldwide who have walked for peace, rebelled against war and sometimes risked everything. Also how their loved ones have been affected by war or stood with them against it. Accompanied by songs of hope, sadness, wit, humour and defiance.
“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you.” – Maya Angelou
Storytelling is at the root of all communication. It is programmed at a molecular level into our genetics and yet the traditional art of the storyteller is dying away like a tree without water or a river without rain. The craft, somewhat ironically perhaps, being washed away by a growing digital sea of social media platforms, infotainment, and 24-hour news cycle. Is there still a place for the master practitioners of the spoken word? The traditional wordsmiths and narrative-weavers? If you’re looking for answers, or just inspiration, the Scottish Storytelling Centre is an oasis in the midst of a growing literary desert and a welcome respite from the encroaching sea.
“Storytelling is the oldest form of education.” – Terry Tempest Williams
Morna Burdon is a modest but engaging orator and grasps our attention from the outset combining stories and songs in a clever, wistful, and educational look at the effects that war has on the world and how women have reacted to conflicts throughout modern history. She takes on a hefty challenge but chooses some interesting characters to introduce to us and takes us on trip down memory lane with the eclectic but well-loved song choices from Pete Seeger and others as well as lesser-known artists such as Nancy Nicholson and Eric Anderson. We even find ourselves at times singing along with the music and being swept away in the nostalgia of the moment. This is both an entertaining and educational experience but does not feel like a lecture or boardroom talk, more like an intimate chat with like-minded friends.
“Story is the song line of a person’s life. We need to sing it and we need someone to hear the singing.” – Christina Baldwin
This may not be your average Fringe offering, but it’s a very nice change from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s streets, and a much needed message for the world. The production values are simple and straightforward but serve to highlight the content of the show and bring an important focus to Morna’s message of peace, inclusiveness, acceptance, and understanding. Take a moment to step away from the world and find Gie’s Peace for yourself.