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REVIEW: Bed, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

Updated: May 30

Bed The Musical, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne


Gilded Balloon

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

August 2023


A sweet, sung-through musical

Bed gets off to strong start, with the quality of the two actors on stage instantly apparent. Madeleine MacMahon (Alice) and Drew Elston (Ben) must be some of the finest actors at The Fringe and it was a privilege to watch them perform. With rousing live piano accompaniment from Musical Director James Cleeve, the show opens with much promise and intrigue.

A double bed takes centre stage, and all of the action over the next hour revolves around it. On top of it, beside it, in it! It's a fascinating angle for a study on life, considering we all spend a third of our lives in bed.

The stories we witness unfolding in the bed encompass every aspect of life you can imagine from love, sex, birth and well, - no spoilers! It really is an authentic and sometimes moving examination of married life. But I do think the boundaries could be pushed further; It feels a little tame at the moment with nothing really inspiring or revelatory at its core. Many of the audience will be, at varying stages, living that same life and facing many of those same challenges.

Bed is a sweet, sung-through musical, but although directed and performed impeccably, the score was not for me. And being sung-through, that is one of the most important aspects of the piece. I found there to be little variation, and I struggled to distinguish one number from the next. Though undoubtably written with a great deal of skill and played with gusto, I was sadly just not a fan of the musical style. I am absolutely not an expert musician though; this is purely down to personal taste.

Bed The Musical cast. Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

What saved the play for me, what held my interest and even had my eyes tearing up at one point, were the actors. They are excellent.

The material was not my favourite, and overall Bed was just a bit too gentle for me, but this is a rare opportunity to see exceptional actors in an intimate venue, and indeed in the most intimate of settings - in bed.


When and Where?

Venue: Gilded Balloon – Teviot - Sportsmans

Time: 2.20pm

Dates: 2nd – 28th August (not 14th & 21st)

📸 Photo credits: Steve Ullathorne


Bed cast:




Bed - review, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish

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