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EDINBURGH FRINGE: What Girls Are Made Of at the Traverse Theatre *****

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 6th Aug 2018 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

At 17, Cora Bissett found stardom, albeit it short lived, as lead singer in a Scottish indie band called Darlingheart.

Twenty-five years later she is undoubtedly one of the brightest stars of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe - this time as a playwright as well as a performer, and I certainly can’t see this success being short lived!

After coming across newspaper cuttings her father had kept of her days in the band touring with the likes of Blur and Radiohead, Cora was inspired to write her own story. The result is nothing short of phenomenal.

From the moment she bounces onto the stage, lighting up the whole auditorium with an engaging grin and massive personality, no-one can fail to love her. She’s a force of Nature.

It’s her story and she relives it with such emotion, honesty and humour. Orla O’Loughlin’s direction is tight and punchy, and Cora’s delivery is very real. She gets us to feel what she’s feeling. It is extraordinary. I was privileged to be sitting next to her original drummer, Cathryn Archer, and at the end we were both in tears.

Now an award-winning actor, writer, producer and associate director with the National Theatre of Scotland, Cora also proves she has not lost any of her talent as a singer.

Backed by stonking music from Susan Bear on drums (and everything else!), and Simon Donaldson and Grant O’Rourke on some mean guitars, she treats us to a great headbanging gig, complete with light show. But the cast members just aren’t musicians. Simon and Grant in particular are consummate entertainers whose multitude of characters have us all in stitches.

This is a show which should not be missed. The uproarious standing ovation I witnessed was so well deserved. Well done!

What Girls Are Made Of is at the Traverse Theatre most days and at different times and tickets are £21.50 with concessions.



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