Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2022


Time and Again Theatre Company

Genre: Comedy, Costume, New Writing, Physical Comedy, Theatre

Venue: Assembly Rooms venue 20


Low Down

Marigold’s research into beetles is unparalleled but as a deaf woman in 1927, her work is ignored. Earwig combines the weird, wonderful world of entomology with Marigold’s fight to be heard amidst flappers, jazz and an overbearing husband.

Fast-paced new writing incorporating illustrated projections in the style of 1920s silent movies. Earwig explores what it meant to be deaf in the early 20th century against the art deco decadence of the inter-war years.


Earwig is a delightful and stylish theatrical hour which makes important points about hidden women in the history of Science and Technology and the practical and attitudinal barriers deaf people face. With a text and visuals referencing stylish silent movies of the early 1920’s it is both light-hearted and serious. Using projected captions and precise physical theatre, with some British Sign Language, it is also largely accessible to a Deaf and hard of hearing audience – a refreshing but still rare consideration.  Three Fringe performances have been fully interpreted with BSL.

Time and Again Theatre Company are particularly interested in exploring the lives of women who pushed boundaries, either by  working in typically male-dominated industries, engaging in political or revolutionary ideas, or behaving in a way that wasn’t deemed acceptable by society at the time.  Writer Laura Crow has created a composite character from researching real-life female entomologists, discovering in the process many insects were deaf.  Her creation – Marigold – is a delightful companion to the weird and wonderful world of things that sting and fly. Her past time, however, is not viewed with any enthusiasm by Mother or her husband, Nicholas, who think she should be focused on running a household, calling on the neighbours, and being a dutiful wife. Marigold is determined to pursue her favourite creepy crawlies even if dissecting insects in the teapot does not go down well. The plot pays homage to silent film melodrama – one of the characters is not quite as wholesome as they would like you to think.

It is performed by an accomplished A and B cast at the Fringe including Crow in the lead, who has the same form of deafness as Marigold. In the cast reviewed Ben Hynes and Samantha Vaughn (co-director) double up with deftness. Hynes switches with ease between delightful best friend Dolly and smug husband Nicholas, while Vaughn turns the style dials down and up for Marigold’s sweet mum and flapper-girl Bryony.

Vaughan and her  fellow director Catherine Cowdrey  have led the company in a fantastic level of detail applied to costumes, choreography and physical theatre. Crow also designed the projections and the material used to accessorise dresses, made to a vintage pattern by @roseltov_ (Insta).

All in all a highly recommended show, playing to the end of the Fringe.