The Archive of Educated Hearts – Review

The Archive of Educated Hearts

Casey Jay Andrews brings her delicate and sensitive storytelling talent to the Edinburgh Fringe ensuring gentler elements are available to inhale. Set aside at the Pleasance Courtyard, rather than walking into a performance space you find yourself in a wooden hut of memories. 

The Archive of Educated Hearts is an experience which begins before the words. An intimate setting, adding to the solidarity required within the subject matter. The audience is surrounded by trinkets and treasures seemingly amassed by intriguing individuals.

Casey Jay Andrews brings people together not for her to act, but to tell stories, to relay the histories of women impacted by breast cancer. Whilst it’s incredibly sad, the honesty in the storytelling conveys the moments of kindness, triumph, consideration and strength. We have glimpses of the decisions made. Appreciating the need to travel, of rising beyond four sisters whose lives are each impacted by breast cancer.

Casey cleverly utilising the interviews undertaken. The intimacy is almost overwhelming as each of the women’s stories are further shared through their photographs- snapshots of life. Casey underpins her motivation with Gellett Burgess’s book, Have You an Educated Heart. We listen to sharing of this wisdom as the key elements of kindness are captured in written form.

With a fringe festival which hustles and bustles, this is 35 minutes of stepping out. Breathing in what life is about. How tragedy affects that life. Casey delicately concludes by explaining her own fears, her motive for this piece. Her connection with each member of the small audience is complete. 

The Archive of Educated Hearts is at the Pleasance Courtyard as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production at 19.30 on 16th, 18th, 20th, 22nd, 24th and 26th August.

Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. All views and opinions contained are my own.

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