Dead Equal

Theatre (opera, contemporary)

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  • Accessibility: 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


A herstory opera about women warriors; weaving together verbatim testimony of contemporary army servicewomen with the story of Flora Sandes, heroine of the Allied front line in World War I, created by Rose Miranda Hall and Lila Palmer with The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. We are a proud female team reflecting the diversity of the UK and Commonwealth, including director Miranda Cromwell (Young Vic, Old Vic 12) and singers Simone Ibbett-Brown (Glyndebourne, ENO) and Teiya Kasahara (COC, Tapestry). Tickets include admission to Live Equal, a portrait exhibit by acclaimed photographer Wolf James.

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Stair Lift

  • Stairs: 6 - 10
    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

Lesley Warner 151 days ago

This is Herstory. It is wonderful to hear women's voices speaking - singing - about their roles in combat, both in the first World War and in contemporary conflicts. This opera skillfully interweaves stories from the two eras, based on a true story and verbatim testimony. It takes us right into the war-zones and shows what it might be like to be in battle and dealing with casualties, and the emotions that go with those experiences. The three singers give stunning performances and the basic set provides a perfect backdrop.

Prof Teak 160 days ago

I can't believe I'm seeing Opera so good at the Fringe!
The venue is great, the wine and food are half the price of other venues, good ac, good seats, bathrooms clean -- so while it's a bit of a hike to get to...well-worth it. Go! A cab is about £8 from Royal Mile, or the Lothian #8 will get you there.
The production quality is very good, with interesting poignant design and well-staged.
But truly, it's the performers that impress.

Daniel Somerville 161 days ago

I was blown away by this show. It is really good opera. It is a really good opera. The story itself is fascinating and non-linear, with two time frames operating at once, linking stories of WWI and Afghan war service women. The use of verbatim in the libretto is innovative and tells a valuable story, one that feels disruptive in the space of Army at the Fringe. It is amazing in and of itself that this show is in this space and supported by the army - something I couldn't stop reflecting on. A lesbian affair features, the lives of women in the army explored, men are relegated, only spoken about - it is herstory that stands centre stage. Perhaps a sign of the times and positive changes in attitudes in the services. And the staging is ambitious - a large stage, with sand bags in piles, a landscape. Someone working on this show is genius at sound - the singers are working to a recorded track of the orchestra but the voices are seamlessly integrated, I forgot all about the recorded sound. The balances are really well handled. There is an aria about why one of the women joined the army - the Kelly Holmes aria - which was a highlight for me, for its modernity, lightness, humour and yet, truth. The final trio though is magnificent - a beautiful blending of voices - and a nod to some of the great endings to operas. It is contemporary but does not shirk from being beautiful. It is consistently well sung and dramatically compelling throughout. It's a 'not to be missed' for those who like opera, as far as I am concerned, and a 'give it a try because there is so much that needs to be heard here' for anyone else.

Kate Gaul 163 days ago

Dead Equal - Palmer and Hall Music (UK) Composer Rose Miranda Hall performed by Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野 , Lila Palmer, Simone Ibbet-Brown.

Billed as a herstory opera about women warriors; weaving together verbatim testimony of contemporary army servicewomen with the story of Flora Sandes (first UK woman in uniform), heroine of the Allied front line in World War I. OPERA (sung to a backing track of a pretty good orchestration) is alive and well at Edinburgh Fringe!. Presented at a historic army building out of the main drag of town this piece pumps well above its weight. A bunch of reserves serve as ushers, bar tenders and even flyer for the teams who present work there. I mean – my dream is a theatre that is run by the army! The drinks are super-cheap and they even make cheap hot nibbles. The kitchen wasn’t working tonight because rain damage (where’s the field kitchen I wanted to ask …) Two perky young soldiers sat and chatted with me (everyone who arrived was met and chatted to by someone in uniform). The army have made the space available as a public relations exercise and host a number of works (not all army themed). It looks like a great program. DEAD EQUAL is a winner. Its accompanied by a fine exhibition of photos of women who currently serve – the entire event is about breaking stereotypes, celebrating female success, sacrifice and daring-do. There’s lots to say about the content and you can find more here

A solid 4 Remnants-of-Cheese - there’s nothing flaky about these gals!

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

The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 145 days ago

In 1914, two uniformed women meet upon the battlefields of First World War Serbia. ...

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Edinburgh Festivals Magazine (4/5 stars) 145 days ago

Three women go to war. One says ‘I can shoot, I can fight, I can fix an engine… I choose to live this war…’. The second is gym-fit and in love with the idea of soldiers as ‘beautiful deadly killing machines…’....

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Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 146 days ago

Dead Equal is a resplendent feminist perspective on female involvement in combat. Championing the women who have played a vital part in the army, writer Lila Palmer has integrated verbatim testimony of army service women stationed in Afghanistan, with the trailblazing story of the first British woman to serve on...

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British Theatre Guide (3/5 stars) 146 days ago

As the publicity materials for the show proclaim, this is "a herstory" rather than a history, and it most certainly is; taking a solidly female viewpoint on two different conflicts over a hundred years apart.In 1915, we meet Flora Sandes (Teiya Kasahara), a real-life nurse who would later join the...

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The List (4/5 stars) 151 days ago

The identity of women in war is the subject of an original opera...

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FringeReview 155 days ago

‘Dead Equal’ utilises the medium of opera to tell the story of two servicewomen who volunteered as nurses to serve in the Balkans during World War 1, Flora Sands and Emily Simmonds. When instructed to retreat with medical staff, Flora insisted on joining the Serbian Allied Army instead, becoming the...

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The Feminist Fringe (4/5 stars) 160 days ago

Overall this first-time premiere shows incredible promise and established vocal talent in challenging what we expect on an operatic stage. It’s worth trekking to the army base to witness this bold experiment in musical storytelling. The often-ignored narratives of military women certainly deserve voices this powerful to have their struggles, achievements, and experiences heard.

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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.