As I am shortly heading up for my 19th Edinburgh Fringe festival I am aware of the first rule of the festival, there
is never enough time to see all the shows you want to .
Last year one of my “want to see shows”, “Gypsy Queen” didn’t make it onto my final list but as it went on tour I
was finally able to catch it 9 months later in the Welsh capital, rather than the Scottish one.
I was aware of the talents of Rob Ward, both as a writer and actor from his earlier show “Away From Home” for
which he was nominated as Best Actor at the DarkChat awards. On that occasion he was writing about a
Professional footballer having to hide his sexuality but in “Gypsy Queen” he concentrates on boxing. Dane
Sampson is an up and coming professional boxer who is gay in a predominantly heterosexual macho world.
Gorgeous George is a symbol of Irish manhood within the bare-knuckle community.
Fate brings this unlikely pair together both in the boxing world and emotionally. As this is a play you know their relationship will have ups and downs resulting in a dramatic ending, which you will only discover if you see the paly.
It is to the credit of Rob Ward the writer that within this two man cast he creates a variety of different characters, of both sexes, old & young, straight and gay. It is to the credit of Rob Ward the actor, not to forget the impressive John Askew that they bring them all to life without falling into the trap of creating caricatures.
I know from experience that writing new plays is hard (especially finding a believable ending) and it is with relief to discover that Rob Ward has found a dramatic conclusion without creating melodrama.
“Gypsy Queen” is returning to the Edinburgh next month (with this cast) and if you want to see a well-written, excellently acted, emotional, fun, thought-provoking drama (and frankly who doesn’t) I would highly recommend a trip to Assembly George Square Gardens. You won’t be disappointed. See below for where and when to see " Gypsy Queen":