A production that’s part gig and part story comes to the Edinburgh Fringe, Valerie dives unflinchingly into the realities of mental illness.
Fresh at the Edinburgh Fringe from huge success in Auckland and being named as stand out cabaret of the 2016 by the New Zealand Herald, Valerie is already being tipped as one of the hottest shows in the Summerhall programme.
A stylish show driven as much by powerful music as it is by the spoken word, writer, composer and performer Robin Kelly was inspired to write Valerie by his own grandmother’s battle to support a troubled family.
He said: ‘It’s explores the despair, dislocation and nearly overwhelming impact of severe mental illness. It tells some pretty brutal truths, and at times it is loud, angry and even violent.
‘At the same time it honours the women, like my grandmother Valerie, who struggle throughout their lives to protect and care for the people they love.’
The title role is taken by actor, guitarist and singer Cherie Moore who appears alongside Kelly and drummer Tom Broome. Together they intersperse the compelling narrative with a series of powerful blues-style songs.
Robin added: ‘I’ve written songs that explore the connection between experiences across generations. It goes into some very dark places but ultimately it’s about love.’
The Fringe offers the first chance for audiences outside New Zealand to see Valerie which isdirected by Benjamin Henson and presented by Last Tapes Theatre Company.
· Venue: Summerhall, Cairns Lecture Theatre.
· Dates: Until 26 August.
· Time: 9.15pm.
· Duration: 65 mins.
· Ticket prices: Full price £12, concessions £10, preview £5
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