Sparkle (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


Beautiful message of acceptance and bravery

It's David's first day at school, and he's excited about all the new friends he'll make, games he'll play and the special show he's going to perform for everyone. What he's not looking forward to, is wearing the dull grey uniform laid out for him.

Why wear a blazer, cap and tie, when you could be dressed in a fabulous frilly skirt and shimmering hair band? Why put on boring black shoes, when you could slip your feet inside diamante-encrusted sandals? Essentially, why be someone else when you could be you?

That's the central message in this gentle and funny tale of empowerment at primary school. Sparkle (aka David) likes wearing clothes from his dressing-up box to school, but class bully Alastair has other ideas, leading to a touching journey of self-acceptance.

Sparkle was created by Scottish theatre-maker Annie Cusick Wood, when her son asked her to make a show 'that would have helped me when I was a kid.' The result is a rare, but very welcome children's theatre foray into LGBT life. And although the production is a little rough around the edges, when the Pride-coloured paper dolls come out to represent Sparkle's new friends, I wasn't the only one wiping tears away.

Summerhall, until 25 Aug (not 19), 10.20am, £10 (£6).


  • 3 stars

Annie Cusick Wood, Honolulu Theatre Production supported by Catherine Wheels Scottish theatre-maker Annie Cusick Wood worked with companies such as Visible Fictions and Catherine Wheels before moving to Hawaii where she collaborates with Hawaii's Honolulu Theatre for Youth. This timely show, designed by Karen Tennent…