Fairy tales and family history
Danyah Miller is a consummate storyteller: even before the show begins, she is chatting with the audience, interested in their Fringe experiences and disguising her own exhaustion beneath a cheerful, open demeanour. When she begins, she involves the crowd in a quick debate about the nature of perfection, before launching into a fairy-tale of queens and princesses and dragon-scale skins, which is revealed as an allegorical version of her family history.
Miller realises that the quest for perfection is itself a fool's adventure, but by tracing her family's past, she identifies how her anxieties have been passed down the generations. She ultimately embraces imperfection, passes on a positive message and finds forgiveness for the mistakes of her foremothers.
Creating an intimate atmosphere, Miller's storytelling evokes an ancient tradition, and bounces gleefully between autobiography and mythology. Yet in both she finds the contemporary relevance and resonance: her life is described in detail, and she does not spare herself, but is never self-indulgent. There is a thrilling quest for truth in her show that is hidden by her friendly charisma.
Never resorting to melodrama, Perfectly Imperfect Women is a gentle challenge for acceptance, a recognition of apparent failure as an expression of context and history that never loses its charm or patience.
Pleasance Courtyard, run ended.