Adam @ Traverse Theatre

This impressive exploration of transgender identity overflows with personality and warmth, despite tackling some very heavy themes.

Review by Cat Acheson | 08 Aug 2017

Adam Kashmiry brings his own personal story to life in a play that expresses both the darkness and the joy of the fight to be true to yourself against all the odds.

Born and raised in Egypt, Adam always knew he couldn’t be the girl everyone expected him to be. After experiencing years of hostility and abuse he travelled to Scotland as an asylum seeker, where he had to battle ignorance, prejudice and isolation before finally being legally allowed to stay and begin his new life. Kashmiry and co-performer Neshla Caplan deliver a fearlessly honest dramatisation of Adam’s struggle, and despite the fact that this is Kashmiry’s first time acting in a professional role, he owns the stage like a true natural; his performance is irresistibly tender and real.   

The play features an original score performed by the Adam World Choir, a group of trans and non-binary individuals from around the globe who participated in the production through the internet. The multimedia aspects of the performance are seamlessly woven into the narrative, and it is impossible not to be moved by the powerful voices of the virtual community that first made Adam and so many others realise they weren’t alone.

The production’s grassroots approach to telling Adam’s story is what makes it so successful. National Theatre of Scotland have delivered a play that is fresh, interesting and impactful, with a strong message of hope and persistence against bigotry that remains sincere throughout.

Adam, Traverse Theatre, until 27 Aug (not 14 or 21 Aug), times vary, £9.50-21.50