Title and Deed by Will Eno

Plays by leading contemporary playwrights are becoming more common at the Fringe. It’s an interesting phenomenon, creating a tension between giving quality theatre more exposure and going against some of what the Fringe was originally all about. I’ll let you decide your politics: the fact is that this play is one of the best of this year’s Fringe. Title and Deed is a fascinating new work from Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno, whose 2004 piece Thom Paine (based on nothing) gained one of the best critical receptions of the decade.

If you value the art of theatre then there is no doubt that Title and Deed requires your support.

A monologue told by a traveller looking to understand and be accepted by a new place, Title and Deed examines loneliness, culture and family with an acute sense of tragicomedy and wit. Eno’s writing is poetic, with a surreal charm and humour that recalls Beckett without being an obvious continuation of the modernist aesthetic. Title and Deed is challenging without being alienating, original without being subversive. Passages of writerly ingenuity are offset by simple anecdotes and one-liners satisfying enough to be included in any stand-up set. Whilst a complex and ultimately serious piece, there is enough humour here to keep everyone entertained.

Conor Lovett’s performance is exceptional. His presence is gentle yet commanding; he is understated but possesses a quiet intensity that results in moments of spine-tingling anticipation. At every pause, there is complete silence from the audience. The script plays with the boundaries of the fourth wall in a way that demands a performer with the ability to control an audience without them realising that they are totally enthralled. Lovett is exactly that kind of performer.

As the protagonist announces details of his past, laughter quickly turns to prickly tragedy and Title and Deed becomes more and more melancholic. Eno’s balance between laughter and tragedy is beautifully paced, with clever changes of tone slowly reeling us into his character’s world. The irony in the simple humour threatens to be blurred as things become more difficult, but is ultimately recouped by Lovett’s possession of his character and the resolution of the play’s ending.

Not everyone will like the fact that such ‘high-end’ theatre is infiltrating the Fringe. Tickets are more expensive than average. But if this is way that things are going, then it seems to be in a direction that will sustain the vibrancy of contemporary theatre and make pieces of this calibre available to wider audiences. Whether you think this is enough to justify the ticket price is up to you, but if you value the art of theatre then there is no doubt that Title and Deed requires your support.

Reviews by James Macnamara


Government Inspector

Stand in the Square

Is Your Marmite Watching You?

The Jazz Bar

Jazz Rite of Spring

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Rachel Stubbings: Doing It for Himself

C venues - C nova

Cabaret Nova

The Edinburgh Academy

West Side Story


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

UK premiere from Pulitzer Prize finalist and Fringe First award winner Will Eno (Thom Pain, The Realistic Joneses). ‘Leaves you happily word-drunk. Gorgeously and inventively wrought. Haunting and often fiercely funny, performed by the marvellous Conor Lovett’ (New York Times). ‘Daring, spectacular and hilarious. Elegantly directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett. Eno’s voice is unique; his play is stage poetry of a high order. Does the theatrical business’ (New Yorker). ‘Pensive, lyrical, deeply funny and profoundly sad’ (Variety). Gare St Lazare's work includes Molloy, First Love and The End by Samuel Beckett.

Most Popular See More


From £21.00

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

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets