How to be Brave – Summerhall, Edinburgh

Writer: Sian Owen

Reviewer: Tom Ralphs

Sian Owen’s play is a fast moving monologue about Katie, a single mother who is not as brave as she was when she was a child, and now finds that she needs to be.

When her daughter, who she always refers to as little one, is facing an operation, Katie thinks it is her fault and can’t face up to going to the hospital with her. Instead she heads off on a stolen BMX bike and goes round the streets of Newport recreating scenes from her childhood and trying to regain her confidence. This includes dancing to The Power by Snap and going down a mud chute that turns into the water slide from her youth that she was told had razors inside it. As she goes on her adventures she confronts people she grew up and didn’t like, invariably finding out that they are now more mature and responsible than she is.

This is a play for people that are frightened by motherhood and their own suitability for it, as well as for people that are scared at the idea of growing up as a whole. Laura Dalgleish’s delivery as Katie captures the mixture of childhood confidence and adult insecurity as well as evoking the small town atmosphere of the place she grew up in.

The pace at times seems too frenetic and the reflective moments too few and far between as a result, leaving the play feeling slightly insubstantial and not really earning its final concluding moments. It has some great moments, but not enough to make it a stand out production.

Runs until 25 August 2019 (not 13 or 20) | Image:

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Slightly insubstantial

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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