Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Deer Woman at Summerhall

Review: Deer Woman at Summerhall
3★★★

‘Deer’s cry, real deer tears.’ Deer Woman opens with a crack of a can and the words ‘Hey, I’m back, and I brought what I promised.’. A promise that we will all leave asking ourselves how far we would go for family. Cherish Violet Blood takes us on the journey of solo-warrior Lila; a proud Blackfoot woman, who’s sister is just one of the thousands of Indigenous women that are believed to have gone missing, or been killed in Canada the past thirty years.

A powerfull and righteous story of vengeance is displayed before the audience, cleverly enhanced by the live feed of Lila with two large close ups of her face. This effectively means there is no escaping, nor ignoring her message, whilst the echo of the missing women haunt her words. Though Tara Beagan’s monologue has real moments of vulnerability, one is left with the feeling of an unattained emotional high. This is captured in one of Lila’s lines that describes the feeling of wanting to cry, like an anticipated sneeze, like it is going to happen but never does.

It is true that history tends to remember the perpetrators of violent crime, not the victims, and, at the extremely visceral climax of the show those are the images that linger with us; the blood, the knife and the murderers – not the victims. Do we see your antlers Lila? We definitely do.

Deer Woman runs at Summerhall, until 24 Aug (not 12. 19), 2.30pm