I Heart Peterborough, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh


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The Independent Culture

Five years ago Joel Horwood’s adolescent drama I Caught Crabs in Walberswick won a Fringe First and transferred to London’s Bush Theatre. Now the playwright, 31, has teamed up again with Ipswich’s Eastern Angles on another coming-of-age yarn.

Michael/ Lulu is a lovelorn transvestite who finds himself sole guardian of the 15-year-old son, Hew, he has never met. Both are oddballs in a town that prefers flat conformity, Peterborough, a town “with the most cul de sacs in the world ever”, or, as Lulu puts it “the nation’s beating heart for romantic nights in”.

Refusing to be hemmed in by geography, co-dependent like an eccentric cabaret duo, Lulu and Hew embark on their own bumpy voyages of self-discovery, through the ups and downs of family life, first love and coming out, to a soundtrack of Eighties dancefloor fillers.

Horwood, who also directs, has a gift for capturing place and time with clear-eyed lyricism. You can almost smell the tang of the lido, feel the sticky floors of the provincial nightclub.  Milo Twomey is heartbreaking as the needy Lulu while Jay Taylor is touching as his son, a faithful backing singer with a scene-stealing voice. This is a little show with a big heart from Horwood, his coming-of-age, if you like.

To 27 August, not 14, 21 (0131 556 6550)