Orlando

Rocking a minimalist set of a stool and a book, Lucy Roslyn performs this one person play drawing parallels between Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, and her own tumultuous foray into identity politics and relationships.

Roslyn's language and performance is beautiful, powerful, subtle, gut wrenching, funny and sombre

Roslyn spends the first part of her performance narrating an overview of the events in Orlando, the time hopping gender bending eponymous character’s quest for love and acceptance mirroring her own. Whilst Woolf wrote Orlando as ‘the longest and most charming love letter in history’ to married bisexual Vita Sackville-West, Roslyn directs her story to Bea - the married bisexual woman she had her first sexual encounter with. As Roslyn recounts the events of her liaisons with Bea, she confronts the demons of identity and acceptance which are inextricably intertwined therein. Roslyn is rejected by her friends at the mere mention of bisexuality, and is then ultimately rejected by Bea. The first cut is always the deepest, and one gets the distinct impression that this wound is nowhere near to healing.

As the performance starts, it’s clear Roslyn is a little nervous. Throughout the performance, she refers to how much time we have left with her, which I feel sad about because I want to be so overwhelmed and drawn in by her performance that in that moment, I forget everything else but her. What Roslyn has to say is powerful enough to enable that to happen, and in this she sells herself short. Her language and performance is beautiful, powerful, subtle, gut wrenching, funny and sombre. Comparing looking at her love like 'the way light hits a prism’, her facial expressions and whole body melting into each and every change of tempo and emotion, Roslyn is an extremely skilled story teller.

Orlando is a profound consideration of how labels can limit us, of how love can strengthen and defeat us in equal measure, with a nostalgic trip into the 80s to lighten the mood. As Roslyn re-writes the ending of Orlando in the most wonderfully uplifting spin-off, she rewrites the narrative of her own experience, as a mechanism for moving on to love again.

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

Within

★★★★
Assembly Roxy

Pops

★★★★
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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Have you ever yearned to leave behind those definitions handed down to you: loud or quiet, male or female, straight, gay, working/middle/upper class? Lucy Roslyn's play is about a person looking to escape the identitarian bullshit of 2019 – just as Virginia Woolf imagined her own freedom in the pages of Orlando, a novel which strains at the borders of identity: are we any one thing? Or are our selves 'stacked like dinner plates' one on top of the other? Directed by JMK Award winner Josh Roche and following a sell-out run at VAULT Festival 2019.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets