Cowboys and Lesbians, 3 Stars

Cowboys and Lesbians
Park 90
21st Feb to 9th March 2024

Celebrating queer joy this LGBTQIA+ History month, Edinburgh Fringe smash-hit Cowboys and Lesbians will be riding into Park Theatre this spring! This heart-warming modern-day love story, starring two sarcastic British teenagers, as they take on Hollywood’s typical first love clichés and flip them on their head, generating a new genre of romantic comedy for all.

Nina and Noa are 17 and wasting their youth on flashcards and fantasies about their teachers. They’ve never been to a party, they’ve never been kissed, and they’re absolutely never going to admit that they fancy each other. This modern-day lesbian love story, delves into the harmful effect of heteronormativity and queer tragedising in mainstream movies, TV and theatre.

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

For some reason, the audience loved this show. I really couldn’t understand why. They were whooping and hollering like they were watching a real live rodeo while I sat there wondering what was going on.

The cast are great, they’re really good! They portray the characters of closeted teenage girls, of cowboys in a spoof spagetti western, and ham it up when they pretend to be shy. But the story, so far as I could tell, was 2 school girls writing and discussing a play, sat on a table, that they then would go away to re-emerge and act out the scenes.

But I couldn’t figure out any drama in the story. Nobody died. Nobody got ill. There was a lot of swaggering and postering and wiping the mouth with the back of your hand. The actors did a great job of presenting characterisations and making something out of nothing. And perhaps that’s why the audience loved it? Perhaps the audience was mainly performers who appreciated the acting talent, which was immense!

The set was great, the costumes effective, the direction allowed for smooth transitions between school girl and cowboy where one was off-stage getting changed while the other finished the scene, the sound design was effective and it was all cued well, the script was interesting.

I just felt like an alien in this landscape cos I wanted a story. Is two schoolgirls eventually admitting to each other that they like girls really enough of a story in 2024? They’re wearing denim, muscle vests and dungarees – admittedly rather cliche and stereotypical – but that did telegraph to me that there’d be a mention on the horizon that they liked girls. And of course, the title!

Noa Georgia Vyvyan (she/her)
Nina Julia Pilkington (she/her)

Billie Esplen (she/her)
Producer Eleanor Birdsall-Smith (she/her)
Set Designer Esme Solomon (she/her)
Lighting Designer Jamie Platt (he/him)

Notes Ages 14+, strong language and references to upsetting themes
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