For Fest: Dickless (Edinburgh review)


Dickless delights in misanthropy. Lauren Downie and Tessa Jane Fairey take turns at performing Aisha Josiah’s one-woman play. Her characters are a playground to swing across, and Josiah arms them artfully, quips and pint in hand.

Saff has a lack of fear: of people, of sex, of words. She walks with a swagger and an undercut, her attitude large enough to fill every venue in Edinburgh. Taking us through her night of family feuds, boys and broken friendships, she is a master storyteller. At home, she gets in everywhere for free because of her face. Here, she holds the audience in the palm of her hand thanks to her words.

Oli is sleazy but charming. Even when he’s got himself into a right mess, his confidence oozes unfailingly. Though the gender issues thrown to him midway through the show offer a potentially potent platform for explanation, it’s not given enough breathing space. Like the wonderfully surreal animal slaughter sprinkled throughout, the extraordinary events of the night are simply accepted and downed with the next drink.

Downie switches character with aplomb, not just Saff and Oli but family members and friends too, painted with curious details that make their characters entirely believable, like the lovingly-formed Old Boy with his bubbling, fish-like uncertainty.

Dickless provides hilarity in the bleakest of moments. It is easy to overlook Saff and Oli’s dubious morals and fall in step with them as they leave chaos in their wake.

Original: Fest


1 Comment

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