Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, until Mon 31 Aug 2015 @ 15:00

Brought to the Edinburgh Fringe by US producer Paul Lucas Productions and directed by two-time Fringe First Award winner Linda Ames Key, Trans Scripts tells the true-life struggle and triumphs of six transgender women unfolding with honesty, intelligence and wit in this ground-breaking exploration of gender identity.

The cast, span three continents, from Broadway, television and film including Calpernia Addams (transgender icon, actress and activist); Carolyn M. Smith (House of Cards); Catherine Fitzgerald (Australian actress and festival director); Jay Knowles, (actress and celebrity stylist); Bianca Leigh (Transamerica); and Rebecca Root (BBC2’s Boy Meets Girl).

Created from verbatim interviews, Trans Scripts provides a rare and intimate glimpse into the lives of people embracing their authentic selves, and offers testament to the resilience of the human spirit. ‘Transgender are the strongest people on the planet,’ says one. ‘It takes a lot of balls to be who you are.’

What the audience hears – a series of true, lived experiences of transgender women, told through the characters the cast play – is treated with humour, honesty and frankness. Sexual orientation, love, acceptance and understanding are all probed, daring the audience to question what we, the average person, actually knows about subject of transgender and cisgender*? This isn’t about the life of someone in the public eye like Caitlyn Jenner, but the day-to-day reality of being trans in Western culture and all the prejudices that go with it.

Trans Scripts educates and challenges us to accept, yet leaves us with a lot of probing questions, like ‘are all the cast trans?’ It doesn’t really matter, but what does is that this is a play of our times, dealing with a subject few of us understand. Hopefully this play will go some way to demystifying the issue, making it less of an issue and something just a little bit more familiar.

* A person who identifies as the gender/sex they were assigned at birth.