I Am Tiger, Edinburgh Children's Festival, Review

Submitted by Erin Roche on Tue, 10 May '22 1.11pm
Rating (out of 5)
I Am Tiger 2022 - Image credit: Mihaela Bodlovic
Show details
Rebekah Lumsden (understudy/assistant director), Oliver Emanuel (writer), Lu Kemp (director), Jamie Vartan (designer), Simon Wilkinson (lighting designer), Danny Krass (sound designer), Ros Steen (voice director), Emma Claire Brightlyn (movement consultant)
Chloe-Ann Tylor (Laura)
Running time

The Edinburgh International Children's Festival launched yesterday with a reception at the Traverse theatre and showings of two pieces:

The Hope River Girls, a theatre piece inspired by real events which combines explosive choreography, video and text to examine how something as natural as teenage girls coming of age can become wholly unnatural and a subject of national scrutiny


 I Am Tiger, a monologue drama about how to survive when the worst has happened. It is inspired by two facts – that the number one killer of men in the UK under 40 is suicide, and that there are now more tigers kept as pets than live in the wild. Aimed at children over 12, this Imaginate commission and production by Perth Theatre delves into big feelings about serious themes before a breathtaking set by Jamie Vartan alongside thoughtful lighting by Simon Wilkinson. The stage is broken into small islands of sorts, each one with its own cliffs. To look at it, the room becomes an optical illusion, up from down becomes unclear as chairs hang from ceilings walls mimic the flooring; a feeling of disorientation is set from the start. 

Laura (Chloe-Ann Taylor) recounts what happens after her parents buy her a pet tiger. A month before receiving this peculiar gift, she lost her older brother to suicide. Her parents never explain the tiger and they don't like to talk about her brother. Keeping big things bottled up and unexplored - like loss and, well, tigers - leads to things becoming more untethered and ferocious at Laura's house. Funny that, grief. As the tiger gets bigger and bigger and more uncontrollable, so does Laura's grief. 

In a work of brilliant new writing by Oliver Emmanuel (The Monstrous Heart) set against a poignant soundscape by Danny Krass, Taylor shines in a display of power, humour and vulnerability, delivering a visceral performance under Lu Kemp's timely direction. 

It's quite a celebration to be back at the Traverse theatre and at the Edinburgh International Children's Festival once again. Visit here to see what else is on and to book your tickets!


  • Traverse 1
  • Price: Full price £12/ Child £9/ Adult with min.1 child £9/ Concession: £8
  • Duration: 50 mins
  • Age Guide: 12-16 yrs

BSL interpretation by Amy Cheskin on Tues 10 May 19:00

There will be a creative writing workshop and resources available to support pupils and teachers on the themes raised in this show.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised, you can contact the Samaritans who provide a safe place to talk 24 hours a day. Phone 116 123.

This work has been developed and supported by the Scottish Government's Festivals Expo Fund and Imaginate’s Accelerator programme. Accelerator is supported by the PLACE programme, funded by the Scottish Government (through Creative Scotland), the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.