EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: SPLINTERED, Bedlam Theatre
Not fully stand-up, not fully a play. Nor a sketch show or pure physical comedy. Splintered is a little bit of everything. A collection of calypso cabaret, all mixed up, reminiscent of the Caribbean itself. It explores and shares the voices of LGBTQI+ women in Trinidad and Tobago.
Based on real interviews and personal stories, the trio showcase what it is like to be queer in the Caribbean.
Sanaa Byfield, Charlotte Dowding and Natasha Simone brightly burst on stage with a gusto that remains throughout the show, mixing music into the piece to create a carnival party atmosphere. It's hard not to get pumped up by their talent and enthusiasm for the cabaret.
Overall, the show feels like something you would watch on BBC3, after hearing all your friends talk about it. An important discussion point, done in a refreshing and respectful manner, that knows when to make you giggle and when to make you stop and think.
It's a chance to hear voices and experiences rarely heard at the Fringe, let alone mainstream news and culture. A place for LGBTQI+ people to appreciate their own liberties, and connect with the universal coming-out calamities and tales of unrequited love - while remembering that the Pride battle for equality is far from over, even in places where homophobes can, without hesitation, dress up in lady's underwear and parade in the street.
Positive, powerful and pleasantly unpolished, Splintered feels like the cast have more potential that has not been explored through this piece. The talent on show is undeniable, but the show itself is not on the same level yet as its five-star cast.