Edinburgh Festival: Cinderella Lives! (3 stars)

From feminism to capitalism, what exactly have those campaigning for equal rights for women achieved? Not equal pay, that’s for sure, points out Aisling Kiely’s imaginative one woman show. It costs businesses 16 per cent less on average to hire a female rather than a male, didn’t you know? You probably did, and while it’s a piece that covers the depressing facts and familiar arguments, it’s vivaciously performed by the charismatic Kiely in a way that is anything but predictable. A compellingly androgynous figure, who moves between male and female identities, she questions whether men and women are really so different after all. Suits, glitter, shoes, hair styles. Aren’t we all just wearing costumes?

Charting the story of a character called Eve and her relationships with her boss, flatmate and partners, it can feel like our host, who flits in and out of character, is having a conversation with herself, rather than us, as she agonises over what being a modern woman means. Is it the right to be sexy? Or something more? Through pop music, dance and glittering props, she fuses contemporary life with fairytale imagery, presenting the arguments with theatricality and pizzazz, even if they have been heard before.

Written for The Scotsman

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