City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Underbelly Cowgate, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 16 August 2015

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - photo credit Cecilia Cooper-Colby.
Show details
Rebecca Crookshank / Oliver Taheri Productions.
Running time: 
Jessica Beck (director / dramaturg), Rebecca Crookshank (writer), Oliver Taheri (producer), Alberta Jones (designer).
Rebecca Crookshank

We are lined up by a bossy drill instructor in the Nissen hut like venue. This is one of the characters who will put young recruit Crookshank through her paces in basic training.

Inspired by a family history of service in the Royal Marines and the glamour of Second World War WAAF operation room plotters, she has joined the RAF when most of her friends are still finishing school.

Through training trials and tribulations her career protecting the UK Air Defence Region begins to soar, but with family problems back home she falls into the laddish culture where excessive drinking and casual sexual harassment is accepted as the norm.

As her career stalls a posting to the Falkland Islands provides a change of scene and the possibility of a change of direction. There will be more highs and lows and she will find that courage is not just to be found staring down the barrel of a gun.

This is a true life tale engagingly told with military precision as she swaps characters and accents and given veracity by the use of photographs and film footage from her time on the Falklands.

It’s a personal tale and perhaps Crookshank has a fondness for her military career that us civvies can’t entirely relate too. While elements of her friendships are heart-warming there is growing feeling of disquiet at what appears to be partial acceptance of covered-up institutionalised sexism and abuse.

The show provides a glimpse of a life that most are unlikely to experience and it’s a genre that has proved successful elsewhere, such as the long-running “Eric’s Tales of the Sea - A Submariner’s Yarn”.

Worth a blip on your radar.

Show Times: 6 to 30 (not 17) August 2015 at 4.30pm

Ticket Prices: £9 (£8) to £10 (£9)

Suitability: 14+