Horizon Showcase: Birthmarked

Theatre (lgbtq+, live music)

  • Assembly Rooms - Ballroom
  • 19:15
  • Aug 27
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Brook Tate
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, Strong language/swearing
  • Accessibility:
    Audio Described
    Signed Performance
    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 18 months


A young Jehovah's Witness comes to terms with his sexuality and finds his feet (and high heels...) in a world he once believed would be destroyed at Armageddon. Birthmarked is a new concept gig written and performed by Brook Tate and his grand ol' band of pals. With original music likened to Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, alongside a whale, a paintbrush and a pair of tap shoes, he hopes to shine a light on what it means to be marked... at birth. Written and composed by Brook Tate. Directed by Sally Cookson.

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Captioning
    Audio Described
    Signed Performance
  • Accessible entry: There is lift access into the performance space. If not taking the lift there are 23 steps into the venue.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 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

Signed performances

  • Dates: 23 August
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating requests in relation to the location of the interpeter.

Audio described performances

  • Dates: 25 August
  • Type: Unit with headset
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.
  • More about this show: Listen to audio flyer

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 24 August
  • Type: Open
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.

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

Beth 29 days ago

This show is truely remarkable. This is hands down the BEST fringe show I have ever seen, and probably now one of my favourite shows EVER. So much warmth, talent, courage, it had me crying at some bits and laughing at the next. So moving and a true masterpiece. I cannot put into words how incredible this performance was. I think it will stay with me for a long time and cannot recommend highly enough!

Douglas Hacking 30 days ago

A fantastic show- great music, funny and also poignant

Ottilie Nye 31 days ago

I went to see Birthmarked a few nights ago with a friend and was utterly mesmerised. Truly one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen over the whole month working at Fringe. I could feel a palpable love shared between everyone on that stage - each band member as talented and warm as the next - and just entered a whole different world through Brook’s music and storytelling. I kept thinking every time something new happened, is there anything this man can’t do!?! A magical story I will keep in my heart, everyone go see it right now!!

Alastair McInnes 31 days ago

Somehow something as mundane as a conversation with a whale manages to run the gamut from playground jokes to the deepest pathos. You'll laugh and you'll likely want to cry. I don't know quite how to describe the show - 'a musical' isn't quite right but it's the best I can do.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Chris Dugdale 33 days ago

BIRTHMARKED is truly remarkable. Among all the shows I've experienced at this Fringe, it stands out as my favorite. Brook and his band's performance is nothing short of incredible. This production resonates on multiple emotional layers, offering a delightful viewing experience. It elicited laughter, tears, and a profound sense of affection.

The impact of this show is so intense that I can hardly recall the last time a Fringe performance moved me to tears, only to have me burst into laughter mere moments later. Go see it, you won't regret it.

Emily 36 days ago

This show is PHENOMENAL. It’s beautiful, funny, moving, the music is incredible and I would even describe it as life changing! In 1.5 hours you are taken on a journey like no other. Like many others I went to this because so many people recommended it to me, go see this even if on paper it doesn’t sound ‘up your street’ you will be blown away. I don’t feel it’s getting the attention it deserves so please go see it and take all your friends, you are in for a treat!

Randall Huskinson 36 days ago

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ SEE THIS! It’s one wow after another. Brook Tate and his merry band of music makers have a completely unexpected tour de force production on their hands: a dazzlingly brilliant, completely original show that straddles the lines between confessional solo work, pop concert, gig theatre, musical theatre, and fantasy. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Brilliant. Congrats to this clever team.

Lilla 37 days ago

Like nothing I've ever seen before. Go see this show! Brook's story is remarkable and he's so talented, with a voice to die for. The band are amazing. You come away loving everyone on the stage. It's so inventive and so moving. Absolute Joy!

Marco Valerio Sessa 38 days ago

A fantastic show, it deserves to sell out by the end of the Fringe.
A beautiful story brought to the stage with a lot of love that reaches the whole audience.
Zebra forever

Gianluca 38 days ago

A delicate spoken and sung dialogue between a guy and a whale, full of emotion, performed by amazing humans. Absolutely must-see. Impossible to remain indifferent.

Tina Strack 39 days ago

OMG! I saw this show yesterday and was blown away. I have a personal connection to the JW faith but even if you don’t, you will love this show. Brook is an amazing singer and performer. The band are fantastic too. I was basically left ugly crying at the end :) Thanks for an absolutely amazing 90 minutes Brook. It’s well worth the effort to go to New Town ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dan Govan 39 days ago

Charming, camp, spellbinding, spectacular, hilarious and heartbreaking. It struck a chord with us but there's really something there for everyone, from puppetry to interesting arrangements to sheer shining talent. Easiest standing ovation I've been part of for years, do yourself and your friends a favour and go go go.

Rachel 40 days ago

Absolutely astounding. Full of surprises this will grab you by the heart at minute-one, and if you’re anything like me you’ll alternate between huge laughs and tears. At times a desperately sad story, but told with such joy and warmth. Brook and his band take you on a beautiful journey, I know I’m going to be thinking about this for a long time.

Barbara Treen 41 days ago

Fantastic show. Great music, funny and moving. See it!

Debbie 42 days ago

An uplifting show full of heart and combining storytelling with an onstage band and even a bit of puppetry. Beautiful songs.

Vicki 43 days ago

Superb show, it has it all - and a terrific true story to boot. Don't let anything in the subject matter put you off. Superb music, wit, creativity and fun mixed in with loads of surprises, some happy, some sad, all performed with skill and aplomb. I've seen a few shows this year, large and small - this is the best so far.

Ms K Wormald 44 days ago

Why are there ANY empty seats in this theatre? Brook can apparently do it all—write music, craft a beautiful piece of theatre, perform it with an all-star (if they. aren’t yet, they will be) band, paint, write children’s stories for his nieces. tap dance (in platform shoes no less) and, in my case, remind me why I keep coming back to the Fringe). I would have missed this if it hadn’t been recommended to me by a friend). Pretend like I’m your friend and book. this. show!

Barbara Oleksiw 45 days ago

A real winner, honestly. A piercing, true story told with humor, music and terribly blunt, brutal facts, about a young man's rejection from his family's long-revered church. This personal history swings from pin-drop-quiet pain to full-throated orchestral music in a snap! Clever, poignant, but most of all — important. Easily one of this year's best, and deserves as many stars as possible. A hard, hard story very well told. Congratulations to the cast...especially the whale. Whale, you ask? Well! You'll just have to go see it for yourself, you twit!

Ruth Armes 45 days ago

Wow! Absolutely loved this show. It's tender, talented, meaningful, entertaining and moving. Definitely don't miss it. And once you've seen it, tell all your friends. This one deserves a packed audience.

Julia Green 46 days ago

If you only see one show this Fringe - SEE THIS ONE! Been coming to the Fringe for years and this in honesty one of the best shows I’ve seen. It’s full of surprises but above all honest and genuine - Brook is totally charismatic- want to adopt him!! 5 Stars from me!

Denise Tucker 46 days ago

This was by far the BEST thing we have ever seen at the fringe . A fantastic true story , brilliant songs , great musicians and a charismatic lead performer. . You HAVE to go and see this .

Ásta Arnardóttir 48 days ago

Highly recommend! I have never seen as many jaws dropped through out the whole show!
Brook Tate is a star, just wow.
Great music and the band was involved in the show so cleverly, all my love to Gayle the whale on drums!
Drop everything and see this show! Wow

Iain Broadway 48 days ago

Great show. Brilliant 6-piece band playing great songs linked by a very moving and honest narrative from a very engaging and charismatic singer. Highly recommended.

David B 50 days ago

I didn't know what to expect from this show, but wow it's knock-out. Having sat thought it last night I understand why it's difficult to summarise or describe. I can only urge you to attend and experience a fantastic and emotional show.

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

Theatre Travels 27 days ago

Tate, who simply shines through the show and radiates a strength and sense of positivity

Read the full review

Scéne 30 days ago

Highly original, very cool production.

Read the full review

Theatre, Films and Arts (5/5 stars) 31 days ago

a phenomenal show

Read the full review

LondonTheatre1 (5/5 stars) 31 days ago

It’s passionate, it’s ultimately uplifting, and it deserves a London transfer.

Read the full review

euronews 38 days ago

Brook’s undeniable talent shines through in a performance that will have you both tearing up and dancing in your seat.

Read the full review

UK Theatre Network (5/5 stars) 42 days ago

The one word is: fabulous!

Read the full review

The Stage (4/5 stars) 44 days ago

Delightful piece of gig theatre

Read the full review

Fest (4/5 stars) 45 days ago

Joyous tale of coming out with a difference

Read the full review

Theatre Weekly (5/5 stars) 47 days ago

Brook Tate’s truly beautiful, and very personal Birthmarked tells the story of someone who had no choice but to create a new life for themselves.

Read the full review

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

Please login to add a review

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