Hopeless goes back to Leyla Josephine's roots as one of the most interesting young spoken word artists in Scotland.

This show has a real poignancy and it is obvious when it hits the audience, who, rightfully so, gave it a standing ovation at the end.

Leyla is the previous U.K. Hammer & Tongue Slam Champion as well as becoming a viral sensation with her video I Think She Was a She. This, however, is her first solo Fringe show. It's title says it all: it covers different reasons why so many of us may be feeling hopeless these days and how this hopelessness actually unites us.

The Jury's Inn, normally a business room, lends itself to the fantastic simplicity of Leyla's staging. In this we can see her creative thinking: a duvet that becomes a baby, a boat, a set of hills and an escape from the world. Its straightforwardness makes it more impressive and interesting.

There are two types of show that I feel the Edinburgh Fringe needs. One is escapism (a way to get away from your life for an hour) and the other is those shows that reflect on current events and help us feel less alone in our darker times. Josephine's show manages to capture both: with straightforward but elegantly measured language she reflects on the refugee crisis. These experiences are beautifully blended with her family, Irish migrants, that most wouldn't consider alongside today's refugees, and are beautifully linked together. Backing music and sound bleed into each other so that you almost don't see the transition coming.

Despite these real lows, Leyla also manages to turn to levity without pulling a 180. Her humorous rhymes about staying in bed all day in a world that seems completely ‘hopeless’ are totally relatable. Every audience member knows the feeling of hitting the snooze button again and again to resist the day.

She has perfectly captured the current uneasy feeling we are facing in a very uncertain world. The ratio between personal and political is always even enough to show us Leyla's own experiences and motivate us to care.

This show has a real poignancy and it is obvious when it hits the audience, who, rightfully so, gave it a standing ovation at the end. 

Reviews by Catherine Wilson

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The Blurb

Leyla Josephine is hopeless. She’s had enough. She's been staying in bed all day, refusing to watch the news, eating full Viennettas at 1pm. She’s been struggling through these difficult times. Hopeless examines human suffering through quick-fire poetry and dark comedy. Watch as Leyla Josephine tries to find hope in the utterly hopeless. Leyla Josephine is the former UK Spoken Word Slam Champion. She has been featured on Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Guardian Witness, BBC 6 Music Festival, The Prague Fringe and The BBC Social. Join her for her first ever Edinburgh Fringe show Hopeless.