Too Pretty to Punch

There are 36 shows at the Fringe by trans performers, according to the TransFringe hashtag on Twitter, and Edalia Day’s Too Pretty to Punch might be the only one that’s both centrally about trans issues and specifically wants an audience that doesn’t already know everything that’s about to be said.

See this show to be brought into the trans experience in a truly special way.

Trans academic Grace Lavery writes, “once one has spent any time with a trans woman, the abstract questions tend to disappear” and Day, who is non-binary and transfeminine, works off this assumption. Their combination of spoken word poetry and songs take you through not the abstract “transgender debate” which rages on television, platforming transphobic non-experts and engendering hate, but the lived reality of going through the world as a transgender person – from concerns about passing judgement or violence from passersby, discrimination in the workplace and rejection from social situations to inner doubts, fears and pressure from within the trans community to be a certain way.

Day educates on all these topics and more without ever once becoming patronising or depressing – an incredible accomplishment. Their songs, poems and sketches are genuinely hilarious, but their power is evident. If you have questions about the harm of the television driven “transgender debate” I mentioned earlier, for example, you’ll learn a lot about the way trans people experience it as Day responds to a reporter with heartrendingly evocative metaphor, only to be drastically misinterpreted, and then to be brought on a talk show to debate the misinterpretation with the fictional author of a celebrity hummus cookbook.

While Day is the only performer, much of the show interacts with incredibly produced projections which layer in images and voices that add immeasurably to many sections. The technical accomplishment of these interactive elements outstrips work I’ve seen on much, much bigger budget productions and their humour, artistic value and contribution to the show are undeniable.

Too Pretty to Punch is the rare queer show that I have no qualms recommending to anyone. People like me who will identify with Day’s struggles directly should jump on the chance to see a show with a lot to say about, and some truly beautiful insight into, our lives. Everyone else – whether you’ve never met a trans person before or you’re already an active ally – should see this show to be brought into the experience in a truly special way that only the best theatre can accomplish.

Reviews by Alex Bailey Dillon

Assembly @ Dance Base

Habitat

★★★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Brave Space

★★★★★
Summerhall

Nomad

★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Aloft Presents Sanctuary

★★★★
House of Oz

Common Dissonance

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

A Shark Ate My Penis: A History of Boys Like Me

★★★★

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

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A comedy spoken word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes, full of explosive movement, original songs and kickass video projection. Edalia Day is a banjo-wielding, poetry-slam-winning, trans warrior, taking on the world one troll at a time. Too Pretty to Punch is a hilarious, inspiring and uplifting journey through everything you need to know about what it means to be trans in 21st-century Britain that reminds all of us (regardless of who we are) of the power of celebrating our existence. All shows include open captioning.

Most Popular See More

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

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