Eglantyne opens dramatically with its titular heroine hand out flyers to audience members as if we are gathering at a public demonstration. She speaks authoritatively and passionately to raise awareness of starving children across Europe. For this, in reality, she was arrested and fined. However, as we find out, this didn’t stop Eglantyne Jebb. Instead, she carried on to found Save the Children and make innumerable marks on the world through philanthropy and political campaigning.

Scenes like this opener pepper the play as we switch, film-like, between settings and salient imagined scenes from Jebb’s life. The Fringe is often populated with biographies and historical dramas, but Eglantyne is particularly engaging. The titular figure’s life is carefully drawn, conveying why she was so unique and remarkable. However, the play is also broken up with more personal monologues from writer and performer Anne Chamberlain who speaks in her native New Zealand accent (which highlights how accurate her English accent is) and gives us a more personal perspective on the historical figure. This element of the play not only conveys why Jebb is such a fascination for Chamberlain, but also cleverly draws parallels between their lives and experiences.

Throughout, Chamberlain showcases herself as a first-rate actress. Her performance is assured and commanding and she brings Jebb’s story to life with verve. Stories of a meeting with the pope, the breakout of World War One, and the creation of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child (which formed the basis for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) give the play broader historical scope in addition to a more personal backstory, although these are just as impactful – a letter-writing scene to lover Margaret Keynes is heartbreaking and Chamberlain excels here.

Ultimately, Jebb’s life becomes a platform for a profound questioning of conventions and expectations in our own lives, the choices we make, and the futures we accept for ourselves. The play is skillfully structured to bring us to this point and everything is underpinned by its engaging and thoroughly talented star.