TRANSPORTED back to the First World War by the shows creators Ali Child and Rosie Wakley, we find ourselves in the company of music hall star Ella Shields (Child), famed as a male impersonator complete with signature song ‘Burlington Bertie from Bow’.
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Sweet Venues, Grassmarket
Through her eyes we are reminded of how different a time it was back then and just how different attitudes were toward relationships.
There’s still 97 years until the first legal same sex marriage, we are informed by Wakley, who takes on the role of educator and voice of reason.
A younger double act, Gwen Farrar and Norah Blaney, have caught Shields’ eye, not least because their increasingly popular on-stage relationship is continuing off stage and yet it remains a ‘secret’.
Set against a fun backdrop of traditional songs such as Oh, What A Lovely War and What’ll I Do, the story moves on through the early days of variety to a more promiscuous age when Hollywood stars seemed to do as they pleased and no one batted an eye.
Frustratingly for Shields, her time is drawing to a close, just as the world finally begins to move a little more in the right direction.
Until 29 August