You've Changed

Fitted out in an elegant tuxedo, in an echo of Marlene Dietrich's revolutionary turn in 1930’s Morocco, Kate O’Donnell is every inch the smooth Old Hollywood dame. In You’ve Changed, O’Donnell (writer, performer, and Artistic Director of trans-led theatre company Trans Creative) tells the story of her transition with 30s music-hall flair, using a range of cinematic and theatrical references to convey how ‘transitioning in 2003 felt more like the 1930s’.

A feat of storytelling executed with considerable sophistication.

The show is a visually sumptuous cabaret (special mention must be made to stunning wigs and styling by Grace Oni Smith), in which O’Donnell recalls her past through song, dance, and speech for an intimate hour. O’Donnell’s openness is arresting, and her presence as the night’s illustrious hostess warm and welcoming. She carries an incredibly challenging show with charisma and ease, leaving the audience rapt from the start. The narrative weaves from humorous to exasperated, wistful to irreverent, with O’Donnell displaying a mastery of comedic and dramatic performance. One of the show’s highlights is the hilarious ‘transgina monologue’ segment, which is one of the most engaging uses of audience participation I’ve seen thus far.

O’Donnell seems aware of the complexities of a diverse Fringe audience, and You’ve Changed is a show which undoubtedly contains many moments of truth and affirmation for trans theatregoers, whilst also remaining patiently open to a demographic perhaps less familiar with trans issues and experience. Honest, hilarious and poignant, You’ve Changed is a feat of storytelling executed with considerable sophistication. 

Reviews by Alice Markey

Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Courtney Act: The Girl from Oz

★★★★
Northern Stage at Summerhall

You've Changed

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Julio Torres: My Favourite Shapes

★★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

The Illusion of Truth

★★★★
Summerhall

Palmyra

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A Trans Creative and Contact co-production. When there’s no rule book, you just have to write your own… It’s 14 years since Kate O'Donnell transitioned and a lot has changed. However, where gender is concerned, are we still stuck in the dark ages? Through song, dance, hard-won wisdom and hilarity, You’ve Changed shines a light on the ins and outs and ups and downs of transitioning. Challenging the idea that genitals equal gender, Kate literally bares all, getting her own out on the proverbial table. She’s changed, that’s clear, but have you?