Theatre (contemporary)

  • Summerhall - Main Hall
  • 11:30
  • Aug 18-21, 23-28
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 16+ (Restriction)
  • Country: Belgium
  • Group: Carly Wijs / De roovers / Teateri
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing themes, Nudity, Scenes of a sexual nature
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


After the highly successful Us/Them, Carly Wijs returns to Summerhall with Boy. A powerful stage show based on the true story of the Reimer family. In 1966, the Reimer twins are taken into hospital by their young parents to be circumcised. The procedure goes wrong and baby Bruce loses his penis. After consulting with Dr. Money at Johns Hopkins University, the parents agree to raise Bruce as a girl. From the age of two Bruce goes through life as Brenda. She doesn’t know the truth, but from a very young age, Brenda senses that something is just not right…

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Once in to the courtyard, follow the signs up the access ramp, around the front of the bar and into the main reception. Down the corridor on your right hand side is the lift on your right hand side. Take this to the first floor, then take a left through the double doors. The Main Hall is on your right.
  • Wheelchair access type: Permanent Ramp, Lift (Building Lift)

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

James Gordon 34 days ago

A thoughtful, sometimes funny 2-hander, sensitively handling tricky material, well acted with a good script and inspired use of cuddly toys as extra characters - quite the most props I've seen at any Fringe show! Addresses the long-term ramifications on a whole family of a single, well-intentioned action and some downright abusive actions, with a light touch but without shying away from serious issues. The 'Adam and Eve' scene (after Lucas Cranach?) sticks in the memory.
A timely reminder that gender issues are nothing new and inordinately complex, and that many people in most respects are, by definition, 'normal'.

Finally, ***** for Carly Wijs' 'This is not a trigger warning', an easily overlooked piece of 'Additional information' at the bottom of the email that is your ticket. I would, however, add a warning about cruelty to teddy bears!

Sean Davis 38 days ago

Boy (****)
Based on a true story, using stuffed animals as props, a Mennonite couple re-enacts events from their life with a child who was maimed at birth. The toys take the place of the various people depicted in the sometimes violent real and imagined encounters. Since I fell asleep during a crucial short section, I would have given the show three stars, but my wide awake companion thinks it deserves four.

So far, I have seen 111 shows at the Fringe this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

Fiona McIntosh 39 days ago

Contentious and hard hitting but fantastic. A must see

Niki Stuart 41 days ago

I was drawn to this play as I thought the subject matter was important and the staging sounded interesting.
I was deeply moved by the story telling and the exceptional composure of the actors. The Sound track fitter perfectly into the family drama.
The direction and staging were sublime.
This is a wonderful start to the day at the Fringe... just what the festival is all about. Go and see it!

Peter Secrest 45 days ago

Following the performance while waiting in line for the bathroom, my friend BURST into tears and then her sister followed suit. My party was deeply affected and moved by this duo in their performance. The hour-long play showcases the magnitude of Fringe theatre by an incredible plot, smart design, and talented actors!

Nathalie 46 days ago

I totally recommend the theatre play Boy at the #EdFringe2022! It is based on a heartbreaking true story and about a difficult theme. The actors Jeroen Van der Ven and Vanja Maria Godée were great! In a direction of Dutch-Scottisch playwright Carly Wijs. Book your ticket at Summerhall now!

Claire Bowers 47 days ago

An incredibly moving show about a very poignant subject. This was beautifully directed and performed and told in a very powerful way. Go see it. It asks some really good questions. Brilliant!

Lisa R. 48 days ago

For me, this is definitely one of the highlights of the Fringe this year. Retelling a tragic true story and using a highly creative stage set design, the two brilliant actors managed to provide an entirely original perspective on the familiar themes of gender identity and the abuse of power by medical 'experts'. What was particularly impressive was their use of humour in a way that never felt insensitive and that invited deep empathy for the individuals individuals involved. Don't miss this show!

Paul 49 days ago

Really special show, though a very difficult watch at times. The two performers are brilliant and they deal with a challenging subject manner in a really nuanced and careful way.

Paul Warnes 50 days ago

Fantastic show which I cannot recommend highly enough

Rebecca Curry 50 days ago

Wow. Blown away. So clever and gripping. I was captivated by the two amazing actors

Barbara Oleksiw 52 days ago

Shocking and important, An incredible, true story told in the most clever way. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Possibly the best of the shows we’ve seen. While the history itself is gripping, equal kudos must go to the staging and set design. I promise, you will NOT be disappointed. Congrats to all involved in mounting this difficult piece.

60Mic 52 days ago

This play tackled difficult content with great sensitivity and even a little humour. The acting was great, the script was engaging, the characters relatable and the staging inventive. Definitely worth seeing.

Fiona Smith 52 days ago

Really well acted drama by the two actors who played various characters, keeping each identifiable. Great timing, production and direction. Definitely worth seeing.

F R 52 days ago

Fascinating story told with lightness and relatable parenting empathy. Great way to start a day of festival curiosity!

Roseann Kane 54 days ago

Just MARVELLOUS! So glad I came to see this. Both actors are excellent and the stage setting, props and direction drew me in. An extraordinary story written and performed superbly. We’ll done all - I just loved what you did today

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Bouquet and Brickbats (5/5 stars) 38 days ago

Actors Vanja Maria Godée and Jeroen van der Ven play Janet and Ron respectively, and also act as narrators, using a range of cuddly toys as stand-ins for the other characters. This technique is oddly affecting, highlighting the family’s innocence, while also suggesting that the very act of telling their story is ‘play therapy’ for the troubled pair.

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UK Theatre Web (4/5 stars) 42 days ago

A rightly popular show worth a viewing - if you can get a ticket!

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Voice Magazine (3/5 stars) 45 days ago

Two talented actors

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ThreeWeeks (5/5 stars) 45 days ago

This is consummately professional theatre, art concealing art.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.