Review – Pike Street


Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall

August 19-21, 23-27 (3:00pm)

Make no mistake – this show is a triumph. In the Lower East Side of New York, a hurricane fast approaches, and with her daughter Candi on life supporting equipment, Evelyn tries to mitigate the threat of a power cut. Nilaja Sun conjures a whole neighbourhood of characters, in this fast paced and flawless one women performance.

Each character has their own voice, but also their own face, their own stance. When they all come together in one room there is never any doubt who is speaking; Evelyn’s eccentric father, his girlfriend, her Navy Seal brother, his stoned friend, the shopkeeper – the list goes on. A continued highlight for me was the emergence of their downstairs neighbour Mrs Applebaum, concerned about the wellbeing of Martin Luther King Jnr. Pike Street is as funny as the performance is impressive. That Sun writes as well as performs is just further evidence of her incredible gift for storytelling.

As circumstances get bleaker, there is a glimmer of humour, and considerable heart that makes this performance so compelling. The standing ovation and thunderous applause was absolutely unanimous.

A final word about the Paines Plough Roundabout – it’s without doubt the loveliest venue at the fringe, allowing for intimate in the round performances such as this. We hear thunder brewing, and feel the explosion of an IED – without a doubt this space enhances what is already an exceptional show. It’s surely worth booking a show in this travelling space whilst it’s here.

Pike Street is at the Paines Plough Roundabout at Summerhall until 27th August. Further details and tickets here.


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