Edinburgh Festival Fringe review: Elsie Thatchwick

I used to blub like a baby at the Little House on the Prairie even as a teenager, but as a grown man the only times I’ve cried were when I had to put my favourite dog down and when wasting three hours trying to put up a tent after a bottle of wine and countless tequila shots.

So while I’m no longer prone to tears, I’ve got form.

Even so, it was a major surprise to find myself welling up and then shedding a tear or three during Elsie Thatchwick, a thought-provoking new play written by, and starring, bright young thing Skye Lourie.

The whole premise of this crowdfunded play – sparky 17-year-old Glaswegian girl sets out to find out who her father is, succeeds, then has to confront some unexpectedly harsh truths – sounds like some grim Cathy Come Home-style misery-fest, but it is instead a refreshingly light and bouncy piece of drama that makes you laugh often, wince occasionally, and reflect at your leisure.

Lourie is superb, as is her partner-in-crime Graeme Dalling, whose 20 characters range from Glaswegian single mum to a Brummie carer to a street-corner jaikie.

The drama is lent an extra layer of piquancy by the programme notes, which detail how Lourie has drawn on her own life experiences to craft this hugely enjoyable piece of work. For an evening at the Fringe, this is a perfect hors d’oeuvre before heading off to a big-name, big-money main course.

· Venue: ZOO Southside, 117 Nicolson Street.

· Dates: 6-14 Aug and 16-27 August, 6.30pm.

· Tickets: £10.

· Box Office https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/elsie-thatchwick

· Suitability: 14+

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Read more about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scottish Field HERE.