Bone Woman

Bone Woman is a quiet, strange and beautiful production. Shuffling alone through the desert, American storyteller Imani G Alexander assumes the guise of a mysterious figure who tracks wolf bones in the sand. Musing aloud on the themes of community, land and womanhood as she travels, Alexander conjures an atmosphere, dusty and deep, that feels impossibly larger than a small room in Infirmary Street has the capacity to contain. At various points in her wanderings the bone woman triggers the memory of old stories from cultures around the world – fragments from Irish, Gullah, Mexican-American and Inuit folklore – which take over her mind and body, letting her live through these remembered experiences. A performance that is remarkably human given its near-spiritual dimensions, Bone Woman is masterful, elemental storytelling.

The ideal late-night show for the intrepid hunter of stories

Alexander is at one with her characters; her portrayal of these diverse women is immediately commendable. As soon as she enters the stage, the bone woman is someone we believe in. Developed with skill through the narrative, the figure is always growing in eccentricity and mysterious charm. The dexterity with which Alexander is able to switch between characters is particularly impressive; following a brief period of seizure, or rapture, she awakes as one of her four alternative women. The folkloric stories which then emerge are colourful, macabre and female, generally pitched with precision. A highlight is the calm but subtly perturbed tone Alexander adopts to tell the tale of a dancing skeleton who refuses to die out of stubbornness. However, while each of these set pieces is equally interesting, their delivery is not equally successful. The last character monologue, specifically, does not live up to the expectations set by its predecessors in terms of tonal control and development. Admittedly, this passage is the most stylised and ethereal of the four, but the exposition is, nonetheless, overly hesitant. By the end Alexander manages to bring it up to the level of the rest of the performance but the character is less immediately captivating.

But this is a minor flaw in an otherwise exceptional production. Enchanted and enchanting, Bone Woman is the ideal late-night show for the intrepid hunter of stories.  

Reviews by Sam Fulton

Pleasance Dome

The Paper Cinema's Macbeth

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Speaking in Tongues: The Lies

★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Fuaigh – Interweaving

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Phil Wang: Kinabalu

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Turntable / Edinburgh

★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Me, as a Penguin

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Somewhere in the desert borderlands, the bone woman wanders, collecting wolf bones and fragments of long-forgotten histories. She pauses as she picks up a signal on the wind. Listen to the whispering bones… Written, choreographed and performed by American storyteller Imani G Alexander, Bone Woman is an original new play adapted from Irish, Gullah, Mexican-American and Inuit folklore. These are tales of courage and sacrifice, perseverance and renewal – as told by the women whose voices reach from beyond the veil. Every bone tells a story.

Most Popular See More

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets