Fringe preview: Trans Scripts

This article is from 2015

Fringe preview: Trans Scripts

Calpernia Addams / Photo: Jose Gusman

A verbatim play that speaks of the silenced, starring Calpernia Addams

'Transgender rights is the human rights issue of our generation in Western culture,' says Paul Lucas, writer of Trans Scripts, a verbatim play that uses the words of transgender women. ‘Trans Scripts is an honest look into the real lives of trans people.’

Certainly, trans identity has become increasingly visible: Chelsea Manning, Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have become familiar figures in the news, and their determination for equal rights has added an intriguing political argument to usually moribund celebrity gossip columns.

Lucas is unapologetic about his intentions: like Cox's insistence that there are many voices that are unheard, he allowed his script to be inspired by the interviews he has done with trans people. The resulting show boasts a starry cast, including actress / activist Calpernia Addams (pictured), Rebecca Root (star of upcoming BBC Two comedy, Boy Meets Girl), and New York's Bianca Leigh. Lucas' ambitions are lofty: the audience 'can expect to be entertained, informed, surprised, amused, touched and ultimately feel connected to the transgender experience,' he says.

The scale of Lucas' project – he spoke to over 75 people in six countries – means that this production is merely part one: a companion piece, with a focus on transgender men will follow. Acutely aware of the limitations within a single play, he is, however, optimistic about the possibilities of presenting it in Edinburgh.

'I began my research four years ago,' he says, 'because I sensed that this was an issue that deserved deep exploration.' His decision to bring it to the Fringe in 2015 has been justified by the amount of media interest in the topic, and by collecting conversations from the community itself, Lucas has weaved a narrative that is, at least, a strong starting point for a more informed discussion.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8-31 Aug (not 18), 3pm, £7.50-£10 (£6.50-£9). Previews 5-7 Aug, £6

Trans Scripts

  • 4 stars

Paul Lucas Productions, in Association With Gail Winar and Pleasance The struggles and triumphs of six transgender women unfold with honesty, intelligence and wit in this groundbreaking exploration of gender and identity by Fringe First and Herald Angel Award-winning producer Paul Lucas. Created from actual interviews…