Two Fingers Up is an epic, high energy piece that takes us through a journey of womanhood with an explosive trio. Orla Graham (Sharon), Sarah Reid (Leah) and Shannon Wilkinson (Hayley) all star in this short, snappy performance. The concept behind Two Fingers Up focuses on young teenagers and their personal outlook towards the Sex Ed they received at school. Particularly in Ireland. With emphasis on the Catholic views and teachings that in turn affect how the young women interact with their own discoveries and sexuality. There are huge components of shame and fear, with the girls feeling embarrassed to say what they are truly thinking.
The beginning of the live stream collaborated by filmmaker Gavin Peden, shows us a look into Ireland and protesting. Abortion rights and documentary style snippets surrounding the Sex Ed topic. From the get go, I admire the bravery of the three women and their confidence and strength. They used themselves as the driving force of the piece, having almost entirely a bare set; minus a few chairs. Even through the screen, their energy and enthusiasm ripples and I am happy to see a storyline cleverly written and directed by Seón Simpson and Gina Donnelly. As a young woman, I connect greatly with the idea of a ‘Late Bloomer’ even this phrase itself was coined into the show and I am encouraged to know that I was not alone growing up. It offers an insightful view into the stigma behind sex in Ireland and touches on sensitive matters in an approachable way.
Still relevant today and with stamps on our ever evolving world, I like the way the girls burst out of the action with music (Oisin Jayat) and physical movements that keep you engaged create an electric atmosphere. Graham holds a strong presence, which would be enhanced further in her presence. Reid captured a more vulnerable innocence that beautifully compliments the other two characters. Wilkinson is the glue to the duo and the contrast between all the multi rolling characters which they all undertake is super impressive.
I would love to see even more elements of the protests or information about Ireland throughout. It is a delight to watch and the polite (or not so polite) fuck off to society at the end is the cherry on top of a rather joyous and exciting evening. One for the watch list.
Two Fingers Up is playing at Summerhall at the Edinburgh Fringe until Sunday 29 August. For more information and tickets, see Summerhall’s website.