Review: Handfast

Arts & Culture editor Olivia Hendren reviews Handfast at the Byre Theatre, a play presented by Nutshell, an acclaimed Scottish theatre company


I recently had the pleasure of attending a viewing of Handfast, a play presented at the Byre Theatre by Nutshell, an acclaimed Scottish theatre company. You can view their show in August where they will be playing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The play is set in the days leading up to the small wedding of characters Geoff and Mona, two quirky but endearing souls who found each other in unlikely circumstances. When many things don’t go as planned and each character has their own personal revelations, Geoff and Mona must decide if the wedding should go on.

When entering the venue, the audience members were greeted as wedding guests and even given small canapés as a nod to the wedding theme. Fairy lights strung above the stage added an intimate feel to the set.

The actors were all phenomenal when delivering their lines, showing that they were clearly seasoned professionals and had no problem expressing their emotions to the audience.

With a small cast, each actor takes on more than one role during the play which is always fascinating to experience as a viewer.

Personally, I felt that the play’s style takes a few minutes to get used to as you familiarise yourself with each actor’s character changes. However, once acquainted the storyline becomes easier to follow.

Overall, the actors in Handfast put on an excellent production which deals with the raw emotions that accompany very real insecurities that some people face each day. However, this content comes intertwined with well-timed comedic relief and an overall charming aesthetic.


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