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Summerhall - Demonstration Room


After seeing an excellent play ("Can't Wait To Leave" at Space) I made my only trip to Summerhall this festival though I was to stay there to see 4 successive shows. The first was "Baklâ" at the Demonstration Room my fourth one man show about the trials and tribulations of life for a gay man in the modern world. 

Max Percy starts by explaining that "Baklâ" is a derogatory term for a homosexual and asks us to add our own less than complimentary terms. He takes us through life in the Philippines and losing his virginity ( amongst other topics) whilst linking his story with the Spanish colonisation in 1521.

Throughout he breaks the fourth wall whilst communicating directly with the audience which helps to bring us personally into his story. These are serious issues but the joy of the show is Max's complete control of the space and his physicality. Somehow, he manages to combine the skills of an excellent actor and prowess of a ballet dancer whilst being fully aware of the need for humour to avoid the subject matter from becoming too heavy. 

This is such an energetic performance that I was exhausted just watching it and then having pushed his body to the limits for most of an hour he produces the most extraordinary rope trick, seemingly out of thin air. 

In lesser hands  "Baklâ" could have come  over as rather worthy and stolid but credit must be shared with director James Newton who helps to make this hour one of the triumphs of the festival and having seen forty shows in total I don't make that claim lightly.

If you looking to see a show that defines why the Edinburgh festival exists head to "Baklâ". You are in for a treat!

Baklâ is on at Summerhall until August 27th

Tickets available here

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