Making a show with your ex must be awkward, right? Maybe. But Ell Potter and Mary Higgins don’t just make it work, they use it to their advantage to craft an emotionally-charged, powerful show. Almost too hard to summarise using words, HOTTER is an exquisite performance of love, fear, sadness and humour.
HOTTER is an exquisite performance of love, fear, sadness and humour.
The premise of the show is based on audio recordings of women and non-binary people talking about what makes them hot, and their experiences. They make songs and dance routines out of the clips, as well as acting out various situations. A whole variety of techniques are used, as well as props, and the show jumps from the audio clips to Potter and Higgins’ own experiences in a way that works perfectly. Issues from masturbation to body image to sexual harassment to being queer to growing old are addressed, briefly but effectively, using imagery to evoke the feelings and meanings behind the clips. The lighting changes from scene to scene, making the set all colours of the rainbow and changing the mood as the content changes.
Potter and Higgins are effortlessly talented and they really let their true emotions shine through for the whole performance. They deal with their complex relationship in a way that works for them and it works for the whole audience, too. When they read letters to themselves and to each other we are captivated by their love and their honesty. We cry alongside Ell as we hear a recording of her talking to her grandmother, but we are laughing again within minutes as they encourage the audience to come up to the stage and dance along with them. There is a true sense of happiness and joy in the room as strangers unite through movement. Although we’re all standing already at the end after dancing, there is no doubt in my mind that there would’ve been a standing ovation.
I have never seen a show with such power – both in what is portrayed on stage and what I felt in the audience. HOTTER is everything you want from a Edinburgh Fringe show and much more, and it truly left me speechless.