There is something intriguing about a play which promotes itself on being about a sibling to a brother who is mega-famous. There is an instinct to read between lines and see ‘riding on coat-tales’. And herein lies the moral tale- never try to read between the lines.
Nicola Wren’s is a beautifully honest, completely funny take on what it’s like to grow up the youngest (much younger) sibling. This is not a heart wrenching monologue. There’s no hidden message beyond the talent to entertain which Nicola Wren evidently exudes.
There’s some immediate honesty as it becomes clear that one of her four older siblings is Chris Martin. This isn’t a sob-story about her brother’s fame but the endearing reality of a youngest sibling seeking the acceptance of each of her siblings.
There is much fun in Wren’s stories. From defacing a family mural, being dumped because your brother is famous, and expressing views about X&Y. And there is the reality of choosing to live as Nicola Wren. Whilst the truth of today’s lifestyles mean it’s not easy to hide who you are.
Superstar is no more about riding on coat tails than it is a show about pity. It’s an utterly charming reflection on family life. The nuances and unique relationships with siblings. The traditions which belong only to you and yours. There are trials and tribulations in the rites of passage of growing up but nothing overwhelming. Stripped back it’s just great storytelling.
Superstar inspires in showing how life can be made good. With acceptance of who you are and what you need to be happy. The big things, the little things, and everything in-between.
Superstar is at the Underbelly Cowgate as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at 17.30 until Sunday 25th August.
Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. All views and opinions contained are my own.