Emma Frankland looks the audience in the eye. If feels as if she has each and every one of us in her gaze. “Please don’t hurt me,” she says. The threat she feels is real and imminent. Hearty, which I saw in Edinburgh last summer, is a siren call to remember the trans warriors of the past and to prepare for the future, the coming storm. This is a performance that comes doused with fire, suffused in ritual, and is born of pain and steely determination. Frankland conjures fire, acts the shaman, draws on some deep magic it is as if through the act of theatre she is creating herself, her own future and a future for trans people everywhere. Those who came before and those who will follow. Welcome to the hearty sisterhood and a brave new world.
Bearing wings made of sharp knives and shooting fireballs into the air, Emma Frankland tackles the current media fascination with trans lives and interrogates the controversial bio-technology of HRT. It’s messy, it’s on fire and it’s politically-charged. Hearty is the fifth and final solo show in Emma Frankland’s None of Us is Yet a Robot project – a series of performances which have been a response to her gender transition and the politics surrounding trans identity over the past seven years. Originally made with support from The Yard and Arts Council England. Age Recommendation: 14+