City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Bitches' Ball

By Patrick Evans - Posted on 18 August 2007

Show details
Penny Dreadful & Scamp Theatre
Running time: 

The Bitches Ball is a Regency era romp through the life of Mary Robinson: poet, novelist, actress and mistress to the Prince of Wales.

The story is a cautionary Harlot’s Progress, devised and written by the company and scripted by Dawn King. A rags to riches to rags tale of a naïve corrupted that is amusing and hugely enjoyable. Although Mick Barnfather’s busy production is sometimes too tricksy for its own good, it is neatly directed and he marshals an on form company well.

This show is packed with belters of performances. Ian Street gives a notable high octane performance as Prince George and Mira Dovreni charts Mary Robinson’s transformation from ambitious country girl to knowing courtesan subtly and deliciously.

My criticism of the show is perhaps harsh, having been so thoroughly entertained, but I did feel that the story could have been better told. There is more tragedy and horror in this tale than this show managed to put across and there was a potential for a sharper edge to the comedy. The company could have been braver and should have been less gimmicky.

That said, The Bitches Ball is a right good riot of a show. It keeps you entranced from beginning to end and at times it is hilarious.

Highly recommended.

Times: 8.30pm, til 27 August