Skip to content


Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2010
Scottish Dance Theatre: The Life and Times of Girl A
Published on Friday, 13 August 2010

3.5 stars

Zoo Southside (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21 Aug, 7:00pm (7:40pm)
Reviewed by Susannah Radford

SDT have always embraced the theatrical; it’s a trademark feature of the company.  Their works are emotionally charged, challenging and vigorous.  Choreographed by Ben Duke, The Life and Times of Girl A is the first SDT show I’ve seen that tells a story through theatre and the spoken word more than dance; and while there is humour in the telling, it lacks cohesion and the shades of emotion are best captured through the dance. 

The Life and Times of Girl A begins in an airport.  Girl A (a charming Solene Weinachter) is telling her story, a story she simultaneously stars in, directs and comments on.  She is at some sort of crossroads; she knows her next choice could lead her to different potential realities and she explores the recent past attempting to explain the present.  This involves a forgotten encounter, a party and a reunion at an airport.

There’s a lovely whimsy to Girl A.  There are amusing comparisons between film, theatre and dance and how each genre expresses itself.  Some parts explore the tension between the scripted and improvised word and the desire to constantly rewrite your life according to your own desires.  At times it takes on a dream-like quality when the story, despite Girl A’s best intentions, goes in directions she doesn’t want to follow. 

But for some reason the show doesn’t quite work for me.  At times the text didn’t build on the story, often leaving more questions, and while I followed Girl A I didn’t go on a journey. 

The comparisons between the theatre and dance do serve to highlight what dance can and can’t do.  Dance is not your typical form of expression, despite the fact that I think suddenly breaking into dance in the street (a la Fame) would be a great way to live. Likewise, Girl A wants her extras to be less dance-y, leading to some rather funny results.

What dance can do is give expression to the wordless emotions of our heart and soul.  The duet between all the guys and all the girls at the party is obvious, but delightful nonetheless, as was the duet between Natalie Trewinnard and Toby Tizgibbons.  Naomi Murray’s dancing seems to express Girl A’s inner turmoil: she is like a leaf on the wind, at the mercy of her environment.  Better yet is the last dance, involving the whole company.  Their enjoyment of movement is infectious - sometimes, no words are needed.

<< Allsopp and Henderson's T...   Rainer Hersch's Victor Bo... >>


These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2013

Coming to the Fringe this year?  We can help you make the most of your time.  Learn about Edinburgh's summer Festivals and plan your visit around the city's major events. 

Find out more >>