There’s Something in the Water, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

In transphobic discourse, trans people are feared and consequently monstered. In these bigots’ brains, they are positioned outside the gender binary and labeled ‘not normal’. Canadian trans nonbinary theatremaker SE Grummett (they/them) first satirises what is considered normal within traditional gender roles, then creates a simple folktale where trans people as superheroes. They uses puppetry, audience interaction and live feed video projection along with monologues to both hilarious and profound effect.

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Happy Meal, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Laura Kressly

Bette and Alex first meet as young teenagers in the early-00s on the kids’ online gaming platform, Club Penguin. As they grow up, they move to MySpace and Neopets, then Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. As much as older generations are quick to criticise young people being terminally online, the anonymity of these platforms allow them to safely be their authentic selves. In Alex’s case, he’s a closeted trans guy living as a lesbian. Bette, also trans, appears to be a gay boy. As their relationship develops and they navigate their transitions, the pressures of cisnormativity cause tension that risks the collapse of their long-term, online friendship.

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Theatre for Two, Stanley Arts

Theatre for Two

by Laura Kressly

In the middle of a dark room, I am ushered into what looks like a largish, stand-alone cupboard. With a spotlight above a single chair facing a perspex sheet covered with a window blind, there is an immediate sense of the audience becoming the performer. Given that the four mini-plays making up this event are semi-improvised character pieces relying on audience interaction, this feeling is apt. As much the playlets are highly theatrical and often disarming, they are also intimate and conversational. In a time where many of us are learning how to just be in the same space as another person, unmediated by a computer screen, Theatre for Two is comforting and familiar as well as challenging what has become normal disconnect from people and the world we live in.

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Sound Cistem, VAULT Festival

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by Grace Bouchard

Heart-thumping music blaring, performers Ayden Brouwers and Lizzie Morris take the stage. As they dance towards each other, vibrant disco lights hitting their slow moving bodies, they ask “How do we look?” and “How do you look?”. It is at this point that we realise why we are here. We are here to look, and to observe.  Simply through the act of being in the room with them, I am complicit in demonstrating the impact the cis gaze has on transgender bodies.

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We Dig, Ovalhouse

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by Laura Kressly

The main stage at Ovalhouse isn’t there anymore. Neither is the floor beneath it or the concrete foundations below, but there is a hole, and a lot of yellowish dirt. Emma Frankland and other four trans and nonbinary artists are energetically digging it, searching for relics and memories of their trans family that preceded them. They also dance, tell stories and share their fears and hopes for the future in this vulnerable and celebratory performance piece on trans identity and lived experience.

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Since U Been Gone, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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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.

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And the Rest of Me Floats, Bush Theatre

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By Amy Toledano

Outbox Theatre’s latest show is a celebration of non-binary and transgender people. It honours the blurry lines of gender and brings joy to people that endure prejudice everyday. Devised by the company, it illuminates the emotions of a community that fights to be seen, and through music, spoken word and movement, create vignettes of moments from their lives in which they have been forced to explain themselves, their bodies and their identities.

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Adam, Battersea Arts Centre

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By Laura Kressly

Adam Kashmiry is a man that was born in Egypt in a woman’s body. From a young age, he knew his soul didn’t align with the gender he was assigned at birth, but it wasn’t until he discovered the internet as a teenager that he found a word for this.

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Prom Kween, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Laura Kressly

If you were anything other than one of the popular kids, you probably hated school. Matthew’s in the process of coming out as nonbinary so they’re obviously having a bad time of it. Luckily, their best friend Binkie and his fairy godmother RuPaul have their back in this messy, glittery musical ode to being different.

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