Fallen Fruit (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Fallen Fruit

Alex Brenner

Childhood stories from communist Bulgaria provide comparison with the present day

Katherina Radeva's show arrives at a fascinating (mostly frightening) juncture. Walls are in vogue again: an aggressively tanned, compulsive liar of an American president is still talking about building a frontier on the US-Mexican border, while in Europe the idea is similar – less literal but still, at its core, a dream of division.

The Bulgarian-born, British-based Radeva uses Fallen Fruit to explore the significance of the Berlin Wall's collapse on her homeland; what it meant for her father (once jailed for owning a Beatles CD), her mother, grandmother and for a lesbian couple the family were friends with. Further to that she considers what it meant to the country's economy. Where once Bulgaria had been a communist society, Sofia is now home to the same coffee chains and fast food restaurants as anywhere else in the western world. An open endorsement of communism isn't exactly forthcoming but it's made clear that happiness comes from relationships, not from owning a Mercedes.

Radeva is a captivating performer and Fallen Fruit shows a historical perspective that translates into a series of compelling (if not particularly well-connected) stories, acting as a comparison piece with the politically tumultuous present day.

Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 11.25am, £12 (£10).

Fallen Fruit

Solo show about Bulgarian history after the fall of the communist bloc, told through the point of view of a seven-year-old girl, an unravelling couple and an 80s game show host.