Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: A Haggis Queen Abroad, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
Scots and Edinburgh residents feeling overwhelmed by Festival fever may run a mile from a title like that, but we’ll happily stop them in their tracks. Of course, mention of haggis and a picture of her in a tartan bunnet on the flyer seems designed to drag in tourists, but lone performer Eilidh Talman has created a light and funny piece which asks mature and intelligent questions based around issues of national identity – specifically, her own.
Talman was raised near Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire but she lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and she loves both of these facts. Yet last year’s Scottish independence referendum caused her to question where she fits within the UK.
She says she’s descended from Burns – but she doesn’t like whisky and can’t remember what words like “poke”, “glaikit” and “wabbit” mean. So what is being Scottish? Are we really just bagpipes, silly hats and getting a pizza to our house faster than an ambulance? Deconstructing the origins of supposed Scottish identifiers like tartan and haggis with a song, some sketches and a warmly conversational attitude, this is a show designed to grab those hunting for myths and gently introduce them to reality.
TheSpace on the Mile (Venue 39)
Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015
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