Fierce – Edinburgh Fringe ★★★☆☆

2 mins read

Fierce, from Gatepost Theatre is here to smash the patriarchy, telling us the stories of real women from history through song. 

The obvious comparisons to ‘Six’, the global hit musical that tells the stories of Henry VIII’s wives, are lamp-shaded by the cast after the opening number. However, it’s not a comparison that the cast needs to be overly concerned with.


The cast of seven introduces us to the characters they will be playing. A soundtrack of modern pop songs accompanies this, woven through the stories. 

There is a good underlying idea here. However, it’s always difficult to balance the different elements in a historical show like this. Using too many people we know – as is the case here – means there’s unlikely to be any new facts revealed. Here, one of the characters is Ada Lovelace. Her story has been rediscovered and retold numerous times over the past decade. She even had an appearance in Doctor Who in 2020. 

However, if the historical characters are unknown, it can be difficult to gain an audience’s initial interest, although this can prove interesting eventually. Here, the only woman whose story I was not familiar with was the intriguing Grainne O’Malley. She was a sixteenth-century Irish woman who became a sea captain, and possibly a pirate, of some renown. There’s potentially an intriguing story here that I would have liked to have heard more about.

Final Thoughts

There are strong vocal performances from all of the cast, and, in the extremely limited performance space, a good attempt at interesting choreography. 

As noted, there’s a good idea here, and there’s merit in developing this specific show further. A stronger overarching plot, rather than the ‘Six’ approach of plot-light vibes, would help to provide a more compelling narrative. That could tell us why it is these women who have come together to tell us their stories. 

Featured Image Credit: Gatehouse Theatre Company / Edinburgh Fringe Festival Society

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