As a reviewer, I am expected to be an emotionally numb pillar of analytical prowess and critical acumen. However, in this review, I must reveal a little of my personal life for the sake of context. I am currently enjoying a blossoming courtship with a young woman who is sweet and funny, and we have wrapped ourselves in the usual platitudes of romantic saplings - the occasional stolen kiss on the sly and all that nonsense. However, despite the good times that were in our horizon, I have had to put an end to what might have been. The reason for my sudden change of heart? I am hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with The Ruby Dolls.
Through their heart-melting and foot-tapping show, Rubies in the Attic, the 1940’s apparelled beauties, who wouldn’t look out of place painted on the side of a World War II bomber, explore their actual ancestry through a mightily impressive tapestry of song, monologue, dance, and puppetry. The quartet, accompanied by absurdly talented pianist Benjamin Cox (who I may have also fallen in love with), manage to weave together the many creative mediums they have utilised into an enthralling and seamless hour.
They never miss a beat or step outside of their carefully crafted wartime aesthetic. So inviting is the world they create that I longed to be part of it – I dreamt of receiving letters from them with ‘SWALK’ written next to a smudge of lipstick on the back and then posting my reply with ‘NORWICH’ desperately scrawled across it.
One may come away from Rubies in the Attic wondering if the tall tales The Ruby Dolls tell have been elaborated or simply fabricated in the interest of drama and narrative. If this is the case and the narratives are in fact fictional, it doesn’t make a spot of difference - the writing and the storytelling is outstanding and displays a skill and attention to detail not always seen in new-writing at the Fringe.
The Ruby Dolls are gems of Edinburgh and they will undoubtedly leave a tide of stolen hearts, mine included, in their wake.