Edinburgh Fringe 2023
We are welcomed by a fairy of a certain age. They are certainly someone who knows better. What they know is that they have loved at the edge of a forest amongst but outside of us. It is an allegorical tale told which begins with helping an Australian student become an artist of extraordinary talent. With the waving of his wand and the collective power of the magic word – poof! – we can help them become what they want to. From there we get the history of fairies, combined with the story of witches before the story of our host looking after a church with a butch, and making sure all ran smoothly. From there we are then introduced to one half of a lesbian couple who tells us of their troubles whilst living among their allies – the fairies. It is a solo show with Lecesne returning to his fairy guise before sending us off with a very powerful message.
Authentic, powerful, modest and lacking the brashness of many similar productions of the same theme, this combines subtlety with a strong and dynamic message. It’s beautifully crafted and makes itself reach you through a polished and exceptional performer.
And what a voice! What A VOICE! With a Broadway level intonation, it held notes like jewels in its thrall as the stories told became like parables without any shouting. If not already an ally, the allegorical nature of the story of the Fairies being told has you powerfully in its grip. It is gentile and gentle, but also speaks of an authenticity which reminds us that truth does not always need volume.
But a story or a message for the masses can get lost in its telling and our guide has the ability to tell the tale with tone and pitch in mind, phrasing and delivery crafted in his grasp as the performance shows how to begin a story, develop character and narrative and then deliver it in a truly communicative and expressive manner. Beautiful. Whilst Lecesne makes us feel that we truly are the first to see it, it is clearly a show which has developed over time. It shows a depth of rehearsal which is great.
It has been directed with panache, the structure is balanced and poised and the theatrical effects – aside from the costumes – were simple and effective – I am keeping my pencil as a prop to wish bad things way. As our fairy stripped, it was to an appropriate level of undergarments and when turned into the spinster/ lesbian what was done was physically done with such craft.
I really enjoyed this and whilst I was already an ally, this can be convincing to people who may struggle with the ideas and concepts of equity. As a solo show it is quite beautiful in its craftwork, whilst the title of the show may cause some of us to balk due to the connotations of the word – show titles have been a particularly tough spot for some like comedienne Rosie Jones – by the end I could not see any other more appropriate way of drawing us to the auditorium.