1902 by Nathan Scott Dunn in association with Saltire Sky Theatre Company. ★★★★★

With an electric atmosphere from beginning to end, spectacular performances, crucial subject matters and an immersive experience that heartens both the senses and soul, 1902 is a riveting watch that leaves you with a buzz like no other.  

Our story takes place in a local pub (Leith Arches) in Edinburgh where devoted Hibernian fans gather to rejoice in all things football. Sitting just inches from the action, we feel part of the gang as we soak up the chants, banters and dilemmas of our protagonist, Deeks (Nathan Scott Dunn) and his trusty pals, Frankie (Josh Brock), Zippy (Cameron Docker) and Sambo (Alexander Arran Cowan). We soon discover the predicament facing the group – Deeks has borrowed money to buy tickets to see the Hibs play in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final from notorious scallywag, Craig Turnbull (Jonny Tulloch). Once Craig catches on that his money hasn’t gone where he’d intended, he makes it his mission to make Deeks and his crew cough up under tight time restrictions. 

We watch with bated breath as Craig torments the group – Tulloch gives an exceptional performance that sends shivers down the spine, pushing Deeks to turn to his distant brother Tony (Sands Stirling) to step in for backup.  

Brothers reunited, both Tony and Deeks find themselves caught up in a mishmash of emotions towards one another with years of pent-up pain finally aired. Deeks is at the heart of the story throughout and we feel the sting of his brother’s words conveyed in his reactions – just one example of Dunn’s faultless and poignant performance. Brock, Docker and Ella Stokes (Mags the pint puller) provide unforgettable moments of humour and light-relief while Cowan counterbalances this with the empathetic stability of Sambo. Stirling depicts the crushing grief of Tony with incredible attention to detail and a shout-out to Sandy Bain who charms us on guitar throughout.

An absolute must-see at Leith Arches 6 Manderston Street, Edinburgh EH6 8LY, Venue 324 until 30th August . 5pm/7:30pm. £12/£10 concessions. Tickets available here.

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