“Gutsy, inspiring and emotional… get a ticket by any means possible”
Trans Scripts is a verbatim play, which examines the lives of six transgender women, and is performed by six fantastic transgender actresses. It’s simply structured as six monologues, interwoven and staged with very little fuss and theatricality, allowing the stories to speak for themselves.
We follow the women from when they knew something was wrong with their bodies, through reactions from their families and peers, their transitions, and their lives since. Each story is unique and heartbreaking in its own right, but when told as a collection, you do really get to see many different sides to being trans. We see familial acceptance, we see homelessness, we see violence, suicide attempts, broken relationships and even the reaction of a church. There are highs, lows, twists, turns, and a real cross-section of experiences that go some way to representing a very misunderstood group.
One example is Josephine (played by Catherine Fitzgerald), who becomes trans when she’s married with children, and longs just to fit in as a woman. She’s managed to maintain an amazing relationship with her wife, but struggles to comprehend the reaction of her wife’s colleagues and friends. The most touching story for me though, which reduced me to tears many times, was that of Eden, who having been born with both female and male genitalia, was made a “boy” at the insistence of her father. We follow her struggle with her identity, relationships and family, learning about how she almost died during her gender reassignment surgery, and her first steps to meeting her mum again, having been estranged for over 20 years. The delivery of this monologue was gut-wrenchingly powerful from Rebecca Root, who really stood out with impressive physicality and emotive range throughout.
While very much six individual stories, there are occasional moments of interaction between the characters as well. The most interesting of these involved a heated discussion as to the necessity of having the full operation, and how this affects identity. As became evident, even within the trans community there are differences of opinion as to whether such steps are necessary to really fit in, shining further light on the struggle to be accepted and happy in their own bodies.
Overall, this is a very important and engaging piece of theatre, which has been crafted with precision and sensitivity by writer Paul Lucas, and is a gutsy, inspiring and emotional performance from six women who’ve all made incredible journeys in their lives. Get a ticket by any means possible.
Reviewer: Steve Griffin (Seen 22 August)
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