Out (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


credit: Sonja Stavrova

Passionate queer dance piece featuring oranges

Rachel Young's Out, much like its title, is utterly unapologetic. The first half of the performance is an energetic, expressive declaration of queerness and blackness. Young performs alongside Marikiscrycrycry (stage name of choreographer and artist Malik Nashad Sharpe); dancing with each other, dancing by themselves and all the time moving their bodies hypnotically to the rhythm of the hip-hop that blares deafeningly from the speakers.

Mixed into the music are quotes from activists, poets, politicians and preachers. Despite what one might expect, there is no dark comedy in seeing the two twerk to homophobic recorded lines such as 'while it doesn't outlaw homosexuality, it does outlaw anal sex between men.' Instead, the performance is blank-faced and defiant. When Marikiscrycrycry reveals a pair of high heels, holding them out for the audience to see with a face as though daring anyone to say something, it sends shivers down the spine.

Then begins the second half, which consists of oranges. Lots and lots of oranges. It is difficult to decipher what Young is trying to say, aside from a possible reference to Jeanette Winterson. It is performed with personality, but after the explosive opening, the conclusion feels out of place and a little deflating.

Summerhall, until 25 Aug, 3.45pm, £12 (£8).


  • 3 stars

Rachael Young Performed with marikiscrycrycry, originally created/performed with Dwayne Antony, Out is about shapeshifting in a bid to fit in; to be black enough, straight enough, Jamaican enough… Challenging homophobia and transphobia within our communities, Out is a conversation between two bodies; a live art/dance…