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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Ginzel’s Little Cordoba: A Double Bill

The Vindicate Company Ltd

Genre: Drama, Fringe Theatre, Theatre

Venue: The Space @ Surgeon's Hall


Low Down

This double bill first follows the adventures of two run away teenagers, and their exciting adventures on the way to, and in, London 1522. Part two is set in modern day London and through scenes and tales of life, work and love we have a chance to consider what has changed and what has stayed the same courtesy of this well acted, directed and written hidden gem.


Two likeable rogues are full of energy and adventure and make a perfect match as they head to post-plague London in 1522. One is Cutter (Joshua Ward) who is “too young to start an honest living” but can cut leather for boots and purses from those who get too close. The other is Pedro (Adam Philps), “we are magicians” he declares, with his bag of tricks including the cards that help extract money from those who engage in his one-sided games.

They meet many characters on their travels, some like the Duke of York who are to be tricked and others, like Monty, who play the role of trickster; all played and brought to life by the versatile actor Thom Tuck. 

The tale and our fast friends’ lives move along at a rapid pace. There is good on-stage action and evocative language that brings to life an exciting and dangerous London where there is plenty of work for those with the right skills and attitude. There is an inevitability about the same fate that brought them together eventually bringing them trouble, perhaps this is the price to be paid in exchange for two lives full of excitement and swashbuckling adventure.

“You can’t kill a dream, it might sleep for a while but it always comes back round.”

Fast-forward 500 years and we are in a history repeats itself post-plague London, as an opera singer and piano teacher meet in the Little Cordoba coffee house. They talk of hand sanitizer, paying the rent and making a living. Some things don’t change, there are plenty of opportunities to earn and lose money, this is a capital city after all. There is a good contrast here, as this comfortable life seems duller somehow. There’s an electronic distant love available through screen-mediated ‘likes’ for those who want to make others jealous or perhaps just join the latest online sensation. Their lives seem less vibrant, other characters are only brought to life in words rather than any on-stage presence of a third person. Apart from a waiter, but even they are silent.

There’s a little background chatter and noise from the venue but the skilled and talented actors and narrative hold our attention throughout.

I am not sure I caught all the imagery and the messages hidden within the writing, but it did make me think. We all live in modern times, whenever our story is told, and what price our twenty-first century comforts and life at all cost? Perhaps the young will come to our rescue and maybe even help save the Fringe, as they promise. All help much needed and gratefully received. 

My advice for anyone looking for entertainment and a little more adventure would be to make sure that your next stop is ‘Cordoba’. It’s not to be missed and closer than you think courtesy of playwright Rena Brannan.