by Laura Kressly
Teddy Lamb, Jordan and Dom met in college in the ‘00s and quickly became best mates. Now, Teddy’s the only one left and they miss their old pals so much. Teddy’s life has changed a lot since then and they have so much they want to tell their old friends, like how they’ve since come out as trans femme. So they made a love letter of a show to those they’ve lost.
An on-stage musician accompanies this remembering play that’s a series of anecdotes and short monologues about Teddy’s life with their friends, and since. Many of them are nostalgically funny, like the stupid things teenagers do because they think it’s edgy. Others are profoundly melancholic and laden with the heaviness of mourning that becomes a permanent part of life after losing someone.
What with a show title inspired by a pop song, the overall tone is surprisingly low-key. The energy is fairly buoyant initially, then shifts into a more intimate monologue for the last quarter or so. This section is more reflective and sad; the content in this later section is moving, though the delivery is a little lacking in variation.
Lamb is a charming and charismatic performer with an expansive heart and resonant generosity, particularly with their fellow queer people. They remind the audience to take time to grieve, that it’s ok to wear a dress if you don’t present as female, and to take care of yourself and others. It’s quite parental, but in a nurturing kind of way rather than an overbearing one. It doesn’t gloss over the harsh realities of grief, change and the dangers of being queer, but it’s also the gentlest of hugs.
Since U Been Gone runs through 25 August in Edinburgh.
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