“An accessible opera giving front line hero Flora Sandes a voice”
BY JENNIFER KENNEDY
I can bet if you stopped 100 teenage girls in Princes Street and asked them to name all the Kardashians – you would have a 100% success rate. What depresses me is that if you asked them to tell you a bit about Flora Sandes, there would be a deafening silence.
Flora is not well known for pouring champagne on her naked bottom, or for showing up to work in her underwear. Indeed, like many women in the military, she is not really known at all.
Employment in all branches of the military will be determined solely on ability this year. Things were very different in WW1. Flora was an incredible front line hero, rising to the rank of Captain and decorated seven times while serving in the Balkan Front in WWI. A street in Belgrade has been named in her honour and a sculpture of her sits in the Imperial War Museum.
Performed in a real life Army Reserve Centre, this very accessible opera gives her a voice. A powerful Soprano voice!
Gender non-confirming queer feminist Tieya Kasahara is compelling in their portrayal of the protagonist. Their voice soars throughout the venue and would not be out of place in the Royal Opera House. Emotional facial expressions draw you into the story of courage and sacrifice, and don’t let you go until the very end.
It isn’t all blood, sweat and tears though. Heart-warming humour is there too as an intriguing relationship develops between Flora and her friend and colleague Emily Simmond, played by Lila Palmer, who is also one of the creators.
Most definitely not fitting into the usual operatic landscape, this is worth the trip down to the New Town. Cheapest bar in the Fringe is an added bonus!
Take your daughters and your sons to this absorbing performance. Let them be inspired by true feminism.
For tickets, visit tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/dead-equal
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