City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Unravelling Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 12 August 2009

Show details
Mulberry Theatre Company
Running time: 
Camille Cettina (director and co-devisor), Fin Kennedy (playwright and co-deivisor), Julia Voce (co-devisor). Barbara Fuchs (designer), Katie Hutchinson (company stage manager)
Tammanna Hussain (narrator 1), Shalma Hussain (narrator 2), Rufia Begum (Seamstress), Suhena Begum (Mother), Rabia Begum (Eldest), Nurjahan Bibi (Middlest), Farihah Begum (Youngest)

Dreams, wishes, rivalries and death. The students of Mulberry School make a third appearance on the Edinburgh Fringe. Hailing from the Borough of Tower Hamlets, they bring stories which echo, surprisingly and unsurprisingly, the experience of many young (and older) people.

Mother (Suhena Begum) runs a cloth shop with the unwilling help of her daughters (Rabia Begum, Nurjahan Bibi and Farihah Begum). Discovering she has little time left on earth, Mother, who is a natural-born teller of tales, sets her daughters to telling stories, the outcome of this competition revealing which of her three children can best carry on her legacy - the shop in which she has invested so much of her life.

Although the fantastical tales the three daughters imagine in front of us hold centre stage, there's more to ‘The Unravelling' than celebration of Bengali culture.

Stories have a way of sneaking away from their origins and roots to pop up in other locations and to resonate with other people's experiences.

"They cleared us oot tae Niddrie, son," an old lady born in the now-crowded concrete canyon of Edinburgh's Cowgate mourned, as ten ton lorries threatened queues of Fringe-going tourists. Those dispossessed and disoriented by developments and the loss not only of location but also what gives location meaning, would surely recognise how deep and universal is that sense of loss.

For young people especially, connection becomes especially important as their world constantly changes around them. The Unravelling walks the difficult tightrope between loss and change, recognising both, honouring the experience of the past and the challenge of the present.

The Edinburgh Fringe is a constant mixture of surprises, a kaleidoscope of talents and techniques, and (almost!) always a privilege for audiences to experience the diversity this creates. Mulberry are to be thanked for adding so effectively to this diversity.

Times: 10th-15th August, 12.10

Copyright Bill Dunlop, 2009

First published on 2009