Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ theSpace on the Mile, Edinburgh until Sat 15 Aug 2015 @ 10:00; and
@ theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, from Mon 17 Aug until Sat 29 Aug 2015 @ 10:15

In this brand new show, composer, singer and mother Tanya Holt explores the (mis)adventurous experiences of growing up as a girl and the lessons you learn on the way to adulthood and beyond, told from the viewpoint of a caring parent and friend.

Catchy melodies, amusing lyrics and animation, complemented by simple but clever props and input by sweet Susie on the keyboard, make for a delightful 55 minutes. Inspired by her own experience and others’ true stories, in an on-going dialogue with the audience members, Holt provokes them to contribute and share their own pieces of insight and advice during the show.

As the tradition of cautionary tales dictates, the narratives are told in grisly detail. However, Holt serves them with pinches of humour and a variety of wit.

While some stories, like the opening song about the regrets of the first tattoo, or the piece about Chanel the Labeled Girl, elicit almost irrepressible bursts of laughter from the audience, others sound a little less frivolous and provide a rather abrupt change of pace, as in the It’s Not OK tune whose preachifying and seriousness is somehow overshadowed by the next cheerful piece.

Despite that, the overall cautious but charmingly humorous tone of Cautionary Tales for Daughters maintains the message of hope, light and endless opportunity, as embodied in the alternative, happy ending of the story about Cherry the Amazing YoYo Girl.