Whiskey Tango Foxtrot @ The Underbelly Cowgate (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015) Review

The White Belly in Underbelly Cowgate is the perfect setting for Crookshank’s autobiographical play focusing on her time serving in the Royal Air Force. The audience are guided into a ‘bunker-looking’ venue as Rebecca Crookshank, who both wrote and performs the piece, topically instructs spectators to “sit up straight” and “get in line”.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

We are taken on a journey through a heart-warming piece of theatre, where a then 17 year old Crookshank decides to join the RAF. She masterfully unravels her story using a host of characters Including her roommate ‘Biffa’, aptly named after the wheelie bin because ‘She was a bit s***’.

This one-woman play is both well-written and well-rehearsed. No stone is left un-turned in this sometimes poignant, often comical look at being a female in the Air Force. It’s a very truthful and eye-opening insight of how women are treated in the army – at one point Crookshank recalls her limited choice of drink, “Either Stella or Stella!”
Special commendation for her ability to change accents at the drop of a hat (literally sometimes!) and her skill of making every audience member feel involved, whether by simple eye contact or planting herself on the lap of an unsuspecting front-row citizen. Perhaps some of her characterisations could be taken further and the changes between roles is, on occasion, a little rushed meaning she sometimes stumbles over lines, although this certainly doesn’t take away from the detailed storyline.
Hats off to the production team, Jessica Beck‘s slick direction together with Phil Hewitt‘s atmospheric lighting that make the piece flow smoothly and very easy to follow, although maybe more consideration should be taken for the parts choreographed low to the floor due to the venue’s sight lines.
On the whole, a touching piece written and performed from the heart which keeps the audience enthralled from start to finish. 4/5
Review written by Ben Thornton.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is currently showing at the Underbelly Cowgate as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival until Sunday 30th August. For more information on the production, visit here…
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