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Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Timandra Harkness: Take a Risk

Timandra Harkness

Genre: Comedy, Experimental, Fringe Theatre, Interactive, One Person Show, Solo Show

Venue: Assembly Roxy


Low Down

“The future is uncertain. Does that thrill you or terrify you? Do you seize opportunities, or feel at risk? After the exponentially funny Your Days Are Numbered and spectacularly entertaining Brainsex, Timandra is back to play with risk. Where will it end? That depends on the audience, the choices you make and the chances you take. Probably includes graphs and gambling, songs, jokes and electric shocks. But we can’t be certain. ‘Not every performer would put both money and the chance of an electric shock on the line to illustrate risk-aversion’ (”


Harkness is a self confessed Risk geek. She has thought a lot about the concept of risk, about how it impacts on the decisions we all make in life. This solo show explores the beautiful uncertainty of possibility, playing with these concepts with humour and some gentle audience ‘risk taking’ participation.

For a show that is in some way rooted in Mathematics, the writing was balanced enough to not isolate nor bore a Fringe audience, and so although at times we were in danger of it feeling like a University lecture, overall there was a light touch that kept us on the breakfast side of day as we sleepily rubbed our eyes with growing interest.

There was this big power point screen looming over us for the whole show and this felt a little underused. Despite this, the set was nice and effective – the PowerPoint just either needed to not be used at all or expanded upon. I would have actually liked to have seen an exploration of risk illustrated a bit more relating to every day and the wider issues and HOW it might impact on our behaviours and values. But it’s a credit to the show that I am even saying this and feeling that interest piqued!

It’s a brilliant concept that this show will be a little different every day by the nature of it’s content. I don’t think I have seen a show about risk on the Fringe before although it wasn’t as ‘risky’ as I thought it might be. I suppose for me what was unclear was the notion of risk verses probability. The risk element was contained not far above a safety net – but I appreciate that health and safety limits those explorations to a point!

I found it personally interesting and thought provoking and I would have liked to reflect on even more what my personal values around risk are and how it impacts on what I do in my daily life and why. It was an interesting subject, a great premise for a Fringe and it would be interesting to see it develop.

Overall a good show, hovering a little uncertainly between a Fringe show and an interesting lecture (but a fun one). It was a pleasing way to start a day and I think will appeal to audiences looking for something different, thought provoking but entertaining. The audience were obviously engaged by Harkness’s obvious passion for the subject and her philosophical but humorous musings on the notion of risk and the benefits to humanity of risk taking and this in itself makes it worth seeing. That and the fortune cookies of course.