Edinburgh Festival: Fanny Whittington (3 stars)

Politics meets panto in queer feminist burlesque collective Lashings of Ginger Beer Time’s amusing romp with a satirical edge.

Like an actual piece of amateur dramatics – and this is intended as a spoof – the performances and particularly the singing are somewhat mixed. The company really need better music than the plinky-plonky recorded keyboard tracks drifting out from behind the curtain. And while their everyone-can-have-a-go approach to casting is admirably inclusive, it does lead to mixed results.

However, their sense of fun, imaginative take on gender issues and some sharp lyrics keeps the anti-capitalist gay love story rattling along, as does “courage, determination and a 2:1 in humanities”.
The comedy is less obvious than the title suggests and while there is a fair amount of knowingly clumsy puns, there is also the energy of a group who have things to say but are aiming to do it in an entertaining way.

It might be the kind of piece where going on a date means visiting the library to check out employment law, but it’s also not afraid of laughing at itself, along with capitalism, the Tories and Top Shop.

Written for The Scotsman

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