Outings (3 stars)

This article is from 2014


Photo: Geraint Lewis

Warm, uplifting and somewhat unchallenging verbatim piece about LGBTQ experiences, performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

Outings is cheerful and at times poignant celebration of how far LGBTQ rights have come in the UK. The selections of stories, far from being anguished tales of parental rejection, are mostly upbeat, as friends and relations disappoint expectations of bigotry and condemnation. A few older men recall the brutality of attempts at psychological reconditioning, but the tone is upbeat and ends on a declaration of pride, hope and, surprisingly, religious faith.

Taken from interviews, the verbatim script covers a range of experiences including those of transgendered people. Presented by five actors reading directly from the text, it is at its most challenging when discussing the experience of a woman whose husband eventually came out after years of marriage – but this sombre note is absorbed in the many outings that have the polish of a witty anecdote.

The lack of dramatic tension prevents Outings from finding new themes, and the list of things people say to their gay friends is a predictable trope, played for laughs rather than shock. Warm and uplifting, Outings reflects an increasingly inclusive society. If this is a loss to theatrical intensity, it is a testament to the progress of social change.

Gilded Balloon, 662 6552, until 25 Aug, 1pm, £12 (£11)–£13 (£12).


  • 3 stars

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