I was fortunate to get an early start to Fringe 2017 with an invitation to Adam at The Traverse last night. It’s my first of 29 shows (including FCT’s 10 of course).
Conceived by my heroine and my favourite working director in Scotland, Cora Bissett, and written by Frances Poet it really does deserve the adjective, remarkable.
The play is structured around the concept of contronyms (from the same family of synonyms and antonyms) a contronym is a word that can be applied to mean exact opposites. Bolt is a good example because it can mean to secure or to flee. It’s a clever writing trick that brings great structure to the narrative of the story of Adam, a young Egyptian Trans man who fled his native Alexandria in search of acceptance as a man in Glasgow. Not only does the play tackle the whole issue of changing sex but also the trials of gaining political asylum.
What’s more, it’s a companion piece to Eve, Jo Clifford’s journey from male to female.
That really is high level conceptual playwriting by two artists under the metaphorical roof of one company, the National Theatre of Scotland.
NTS is bang on form just now, Room which I reviewed earlier this year (also directed by Cora) was extraordinary.
This is no less so in a more intimate and emotional way.
What makes it so remarkable is that the issue of changing gender is played out by the young man himself (Adam Kashmiry) in his first ever professional acting role and a female actor (Neshla Caplan). Both put in amazing performances that highlights the difference between men and women without ever resorting to cliche, stereotype or politicising the situation.
Special mention must be made of the set (Emily James) a uniquely clever structure borrowing (on a tiny budget) from aspects of The Curious Incidence of the Dog in the Nighttime.
Please, get a ticket before it sells out.