Review: Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest For Love

4*
Edinburgh Fringe
Greenside @ Infirmary Street – Forest Theatre (236) Until 25th Aug
(Not 12th or 19th)

If your playlist is anywhere near as eclectic as mine, Emma Dean’s set might be eerily similar to what you’ve been listening to as you’ve been climbing your way through Edinburgh’s streets. With delightful renditions of Sia, beautiful Daughter-like melancholy and meme-y originals, I certainly didn’t feel out of place with the swings in genre. From even the first song, the whiplash of tone was pleasingly romantic: heartbreaking and heartwarming and, importantly, fun.

Broken Romantics is a cabaret show: the story of Dean’s heartbreaks, dances with self-love and the (no shame) discovery of ridiculous kinks set to covers of pop songs and originals. At several points, an ocarina comes into play, and there is the most masterful use of a head-bang solo I’ve ever seen: both sending me into giggles.

Interspersed between songs is The Heart Breaker, a dancer representing Dean’s lost loves and acting the responses to her songs. I sometimes struggled to follow the point of the Heart Breaker, and often found myself forgetting Emma Dean’s singing, which I found a great loss. There were a couple of songs where his presence had less metaphorical leanings, which I then did thoroughly enjoy, but the space seemed too small to contain both the dance and the music in tandem.

Fans of athletic, scantily-clad male dancers might enjoy the Heart Breaker a bit more than myself, but otherwise Emma Dean and her Broken Romantics band are silly and punchy fun, and the show absolutely makes for both a great pre-theatre warm-up, or as a wind down for a hard day.

© Nemo Martin 2018

Follow Emmadean_music for info of the show, but also to find out about the Unicorn Jams happening around Edinburgh during the Fringe!
* A participation warning for trans and gender non-conforming audience members, the show has an instance of participation where an audience member is selected and brought to the stage to represent a man from the story.
There is also an instance in the show of violent imagery used as a metaphor which may be triggering for some.
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