Review: Hedwig And The Angry Inch

Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Picture: contributed
Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Picture: contributed
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Greenside, Royal Terrace

* * * * *

Greenside, Royal Terrace

Behind a camp and often crass facade, a tragedy unfolds. A tale of love and betrayal, of plagiarism and lost dreams.

Meet Hansel, who escaped his East Berlin home by enduring the most extreme sacrifice a man can, a sex change that allowed him to marry his American GI... but as the show blurb says, “that’s just the start of the story”.

There can be few Fringe productions this year with a duration of one hour fifty minutes – the time flies.

Fewer still that boast a leading man who carries that running time almost single-handedly.

With minimal set, the odd projection and a lot of attitude, the success of this production lies in Jake Benson’s storytelling.

Captivating, waspish and tender, his Hedwig is a beautifully layered creature.

Updating the original script, this Hedwig, an imposing vision in blonde wig, three-piece denim and knee-high kinky red boots, takes selfies with the audience, puts down hecklers with perfectly pitched quips about Cecil the lion, and even references a particular Disney favourite.

Numerous local references ensure this is an exclusively Edinburgh production.

Accompanied by a tight five-piece rock band, Benson’s singing comes up to scratch too as he brings the “internationally ignored song stylist” from Berlin back to the Fringe in a late-night production that is guaranteed to give you a second wind. It really is time to put on some make-up... and get along to Greenside.

Until August 29