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EdFringe Review: Lifted ★★★★★ at TheSpace@SurgeonsHall

Triad Pictures presents:

Lifted ★★★★★

By Sara Shaarawi and Henry Bell
Edinburgh TheSpace@SurgeonsHall
(venue 53 of Edinburgh Fringe)
Until Saturday 27th August 2016

Two men are in jail. Lifted is well-crafted story which follows the journey of one of those two men as he is interrogated by the police.  A really strong performance leads us through a journey of university life, racism, immigration, detention and mermaids the tale is a heady mix. He doesn’t know why he has been held and he tries to co-operate.

The initial line of questioning is about the other man. How do they know each other? What is the nature of their relationship?

In fact they had met during Freshers Week at St Andrews University. One was an English student from Kuwait, the other a native-Scottish drug dealer trying to solicit business from the new arrivals to the area. Obviously the drug dealer isn’t keen to reveal to the police the real nature of the business. What he does know is that these men in blue are wearing combat pants and don’t appear to be local. He blames The Wire for their aggressive demeanour.

This single-handed show flicks between the police interview and in the inner thoughts of the man in custody through the lighting design. During the interview he is in the bright spotlight – just like a Gestapo Interrogation in a WW2 movie. Actor Ikram Gilani is wide eyed and often leaning forward during these moments. When the action moves to the narrative, with the inmate’s inner thoughts and background explanations, the whole stage is lit up.  His thoughts, as the interview progresses, reveals how he is trying to guess why he is being detained. The story reveals the frequent racism that had been experienced, as a schoolboy and as a young adult. 

The show is physical, at times disturbing and at other points mesmerizing. Ikram is a wonderful storyteller and the packed venue were drawn into his world. Assumptions are examined. Principles are questioned. It is a powerful piece of new writing, delivered with skill. Well worth getting up for!

This review was written by Stephen Oliver the North East Theatre Guide – follow Stephen at panic_c_button

Parental Guidance: The play deals with drug use, adult issues and has some swearing.


Triad Pictures presents Lifted at TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW, Venue 53

Until 20thAugust (Theatre 2) - 11:05am (50 min)

22nd– 27th August (Theatre 1) - 8:05pm (50 min)

Tickets £6.50 Students £4.00
Book over the phone from 08 June 2016: 0131 226 0000
In person at The Fringe Box Office - 180 High Street, EH1 1QS or The University of Edinburgh Visitor Centre, 2 Charles Street, EH8 9AD. (Card sales only)
Tickets can be booked online at

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