Cut

As you enter the white clinical looking surroundings of a backroom in the medical quad of the Underbelly you are greeted by a Stepford smiling woman who calmly leads you to your seats and explains the rules you will have to abide while you watch the show. This includes the ability to leave at any point by raising your hand and simply saying “Cut”.

Cut becomes one of the most memorable and chilling theatrical experiences you will likely ever have.

We are then plunged into complete darkness accompanied by the sound of what can only be described as cyclone in hell as you experience the most nerve racking and terrifying hour of horror of your life. In retrospect the need for a safe word to begin with should have sent alarm bells ringing that this wasn’t going to be a typical easy evening show at the festival.

Cut, a one woman show written and directed by Duncan Graham, styles itself as a surreal horror thriller in the style of artists like David Lynch. The plot revolves around an unnamed woman who is being pursued by a mysterious man wherever she goes. Like any good David Lynch movie however, the plot is not what is important, and as the play progresses the line between reality and nightmare grow ever thinner as we begin to question how reliable our narrator even is.

To say this show is scary is an insulting understatement; it is utterly terrifying on every level, from the first moment we are plunged into darkness the audience immediately feels like they have been lifted from the real world and placed inside a horrible waking nightmare. I must admit I found myself tensing within the first few moments and did not relax until about five minutes after I had left the venue still breathless from the experience.

This incredible atmosphere is achieved firstly through an incredible performance by Hannah Norris who plays the unnamed woman. Norris is a tour de force on stage, able to go from moments of complete emotional vulnerability to terrifying coldness in seconds and you are utterly captivated from start to finish. Secondly it is achieved through what is perhaps the best lighting and sound design I’ve seen in a fringe show in a long time.

Sam Hopkins, the lighting designer, and Russell Goldsmith, the sound designer, must be given as much praise as humanly possible for creating a technical design that is simultaneously both beautiful and monstrous as the play plunged us in and out of complete darkness with no warning, all the while assailing us with noises and sound that are unrecognisable but grate at your ears and make you squirm in your seat. These periods of blackout heighten the already high stakes as Norris seems transported across the stage, meaning every period of darkness is punctuated by the fear of what fresh horror we’ll see when the lights come back up again.

Cut is by far one of the best pieces of horror I’ve seen both at the Fringe and within my own life. It is by no means a show for everyone, particularly those of the faint of heart or who cannot deal with disturbing content of which there is plenty. If entered with the right mindset, however, Cut becomes one of the most memorable and chilling theatrical experiences you will likely ever have. 

Reviews by Joseph McAulay

Pleasance Courtyard

Great British Mysteries: 1599?

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Kill the Beast: Director's Cut

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

No Kids

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Dietrich: Natural Duty

★★★★
Summerhall

DollyWould

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Ulster American

★★★★

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

The award-winning ultimate Fringe thriller returns. A woman prepares for work. Pursued by a man, she is hunter and hunted. Cut is a total work of art. A Lynchian dream that transports an audience deep into the heart of 21st-century fears: the psychological equivalent of extreme turbulence. Part installation, part theatre poem, part noir thriller, prepare to be sealed into this intimate and unforgettable experience. 'You become enraptured by this one-woman journey' ***** (Edinburgh Evening News). 'A disorienting and horrifically powerful psychological thriller' **** (Scotsman). #madeinadelaide

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets