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Edinburgh 2022: Review: THE ECSTASY OF VICTORIA WOODHULL, TheSpace On North Bridge

Edinburgh 2022: Review: THE ECSTASY OF VICTORIA WOODHULL, TheSpace On North Bridge

The one-woman Fringe show about the Victorian suffragist who ran for US President!

SIXSIXFringe shows in hotel rooms are always very intimate, but walking into The Ecstasy of Victoria Woodhull, only to be handed a set of bells to participate in the upcoming seance was certainly a new experience! We are warmly greeted by our host, played by Ashley Ford, who conceived the show in collaboration with her husband, Theo Salter, for the Owl & Pussycat Theatre Company.

On the small stage sit a couple of tables, one of which is adorned by a framed photograph of Victoria Woodhull. This is passed around the room as Ford introduces us to the suffragist, clairvoyant, free love advocate and presidential nominee we are to learn more about (and seemingly conjure the spirit of) during the 50-minute show.

Ford is wearing the most fantastic purple skirt and vintage blouse, and ably differentiates herself between a few different characters, including Woodhull, who we meet over the course of the evening - a word of warning, there is some audience participation when we meet one of her husbands!

Ford gives an endearing and engaging performance, and, as challenging as solo shows are to tell a story involving multiple characters, there is a little too much exposition in the one-sided dialogue we are privy to between different characters to be a convincing conversation, and the multiple personalities become a little confusing at times.

The seance setting serves as a useful device for switching between characters with the gentle ring of a singing bowl and creates a calm and tranquil ambience about the room.

Shows about little-known women from history could become a category of their own at Edinburgh Fringe these days alongside shows such as Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World on at Pleasance Courtyard and previous festival hits like Six - The Musical. Following this performance, you leave wondering why you hadn't heard about Woodhull sooner!

Step out of your comfort zone and learn more about this fantastic woman at The Ecstasy of Victoria Woodhull.

The Ecstasy of Victoria Woodhull at theSpace on North Bridge until 27 August

Photo credit: Andrew Southam

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From This Author - Fiona Scott

Fiona works towards her medicinal chemistry PhD by day but can usually be found in a theatre at night. She enjoys writing about science, musicals and more!

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