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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Hard Shoulder

Phoebe Averdieck

Genre: Comedic, Contemporary, New Writing, Solo Performance, Solo Show, Theatre

Venue: The Space on the Mile


Low Down

An unfiltered ride through the tribulations, confessions, and fuck ups of a young woman in 2022. She is unapologetically honest and impulsive in sharing her frustrations, erotic fantasies, connections and disconnections with men and nature.


Phoebe Averdieck bursts on the stage in a riot of music, dance and a wrapper full of something she is eating ravenously… possibly chips, to take us on a journey through her life with all its challenges.

The show was developed from a series of shorter monologues that gradually grew to be a 50 minute show, a fragmented journey – not neat or sequential, it is episodic, disjointed, switching mood and style in a moment and certainly lives up to the promise of being unfiltered; a powerful stream of consciousness supported by a kaleidoscope of sound and images.

Her delivery is direct to the audience, conversational and intimate as she takes us through fantasies, intimate moments and the practical issues of caring for her brother Eddie. It is at times, surreal, at others, down to earth with lovely observational nuggets, her use of language is imaginative and lyrical at times, brutal and punchy at others.

The thread running through the show is her relationship with her brother Eddie who has Wolf Hirchshorn syndrome characterised by, among other things, a completely unfiltered delivery of whatever his feelings, needs and opinions (including of Phoebe’s boyfriends) are. He joins us via the sound track and Phoebe is skilful in making his speech and intentions clearer without the obvious device of simply repeating it, which adds to the sense throughout of how much she loves, cares for and respects Eddie. It is this thread that makes the show more than just a clever series of personal stories.

There is no set, just the gradually accumulating detritus of various of her vivid encounters with the current boyfriend, Dom, or the ex, Jamie, or her brother Eddie.

The show concludes with audio from his drama group giving him a chance to express himself and leave us with a sense of who this young man is, outside his disability.

All in all a powerful piece in which Averdieck allows us to share in her vulnerability as well as showing something of the challenges of life with a disabled sibling, a perspective we rarely hear about. If you’re up for an unfiltered glimpse into one young woman’s world, this daring piece of work is the show for you.