Nowt as Queer as Folk

Set in rural England, this pale ale drenched parable explores village life juxtaposed with urban sprawl. Topical issues of sexual impropriety, love lost, love rediscovered and fiddling finances are interspersed with song and slapstick scenes. A homely hybrid of The Archers and the Vicar of Dibley, there is a pantomime-esque quality to the humour, with a script which is sluggish in parts.

A plethora of pick me up humour, mirth and celebration of connection.

Initially, a dismayed Aileen displays a ‘County Council Planning Notice’. Subsequently, the core cast of seven enter the village pub and this opening scene is quite chaotic as the audience struggle to keep up with the tired and overacted dialogue. Yummy mummies, new world wine and the village newsletter overshadow some of the topics the show is attempting to open up to exploration. This young cast are earnestly energetic, giving great performances of very distinct characters. Some of the performance is over acted, though this is clearly intentional - it did grate a bit at times though, as the repeated dialogue and ‘oooooohhhhhh nooooooo’ slapstick hyperbole felt at odds with the serious issues at hand. A happy medium would have provided the comedic interludes I imagine director Molly Farley was looking for.

The script was inconsistent and needs to be tightened in places, though writer Becky Pick shows flashes of brilliance with the concept. It felt like there were potential issues which were overshadowed in favour of the comedy element to the show, and although billed as musical theatre, there was only one song. I would have liked to have explored more about the villagers’ response to Helen selling off land to the incoming developers, a storyline which fell flat early on in the piece. Similarly, the foray into non-monogamy for Bill and Deborah masked huge relationship issues which appeared solved by his purchase of a carribean cruise. The relationship dynamics between Aileen and Barbara were interesting, and symptomatic of a small village mentality – sexualising the relationship and falling back on stereotypes, which I assume was intentional on the part of Becky Pick.

Small holes in the script can be forgiven, as on the surface this was an enjoyable piece of theatre which held my attention and garnered lots of laughs from the audience. The piece, by Coast to Coast theatre, was crowdfunded to be brought to the Fringe, and the cast were exuberant in their portrayal. Highlights were Bill, the manic conspiracy theorist played by Alex Grauwiler, who at times was annoying but at others purely brilliant as his character descended into mania as the developers encroached on his land. The highlight for me was the portrayal of Judy, played by Nancy Melia – she shone on stage, and will go far. The cast were clearly enjoying their performance, which was lovely to see. It also served to save Alexandra Hayes as she slipped from her character of Barbara as she descended into chaotic giggles to the extent that she could barely get her lines out. Her performance up to that point had been impeccably strong.

Nowt As Queer As Folk doesn't present ground breaking storylines or overwhelm us with musical ingenuity. However it does provide an hour of enjoyable theatre in which we have a glimpse of life in small town England, with a plethora of pick me up humour, mirth and celebration of connection.

Reviews by Jodie McVicar

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Mandy Muden: Is Not the Invisible Woman

Army @ The Fringe in Association with Summerhall

Dead Equal

The Fawlty Towers Dining Room at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel

Fawlty Towers Live Themed Dinner Show

Greenside @ Nicolson Square


Assembly Roxy


National Museum of Scotland

Museum Late: Fringe Fridays


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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

A village. A feud. A double-booked village hall. A society torn apart by yoga, chardonnay and a corrupt planning officer. In this place, anything goes... Except the New Estate. And socialism, obviously. A fast-paced comedy focusing on the trials and tribulations that arise when attempting to change the lives of strict Bombay gin drinkers.

Most Popular See More


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets