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Review: 78 things I don’t want to tell you about the love of my life at Outhouse - Ed Fringe

Review by Lucy Holz


Intrigued by a riveting synopsis, when I read about this show in the festival guide, I decided it was a must-see. A fellow Australian, I had wanted to avoid seeing too many Australian shows while in Edinburgh, but this show looked interesting enough that it earned a coveted spot on my list.


The program reveals that the story was devised in 2018 by a queer community in Australia known as the 78ers. A group that participated in Sydney’s first Mardi Gras in 1978, this collective wanted to capture how this event impacted the rights and lives of queer people to come.


The version being performed at Edinburgh Festival this year is a cross between a monologue and a two hander, featuring one main protagonist played by Trevar Skillicorn-Chilver and his lover Tommy, played by Kieran Marshall. The show follows the lives of these two characters, both together and apart.


The title represents not only 1978 but a list of 78 things our hero has to say about his life after meeting Tommy. With a set up screen projecting the list as he recounts it, this show is given structure and purpose.


Representing everything a fringe festival should be about, this play appears to be the magnum opus of Skillicorn-Chilver. Handing out programs with the list printed on them and thanking the audience for coming at the door, it’s not doubt that bringing this show here has been a feat.


At the opening night of this play, it is unfortunately not quite performance ready. With an ongoing issue with lines and cues from both actors and their tech, it’s hard to review their performances accurately. In the same way it would be unjust to review a rehearsal, it is impossible to authentically evaluate their capabilities based on the show I attended.


However this show has immense potential, with a unique and engaging structure that is perfectly suited to a minimalist festival venue. I have no doubt that it can become a fantastic piece of queer theatre and look forward to further iterations of the work.


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