Theatre (new writing, poetry)

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  • Underbelly, Cowgate - White Belly
  • 12:00
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Scandal Theatre and RiotBox Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains Distressing Themes, Scenes of Violence, Strong Language/Swearing
  • 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


An American artist must decide whether to overstay her visa or give up her chance to become a UK citizen. A Guatemalan graduate must decide whether to make the dangerous trek to America. As their parallel stories intertwine, two young women discover how far they’ll go to get what they need... and who they’ll hurt by becoming illegal. A vibrant narrative poem woven with gripping drama by Jessica Phillippi, featuring music by Simon Liddell.

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General venue access

  • Captioning
  • Accessible entry: There are 50 steps into this venue from the cowgate entrance.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • 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

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 23 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

Amy Conway 115 days ago

A total gem of a show and a unique take on the immigrant experience! Scandal Theatre's shows are always very well-crafted and executed but Illegal was particularly adept at engaging the audience for an hour that flew by - sharp writing, beautiful interweaving of storylines, and faultless performances led to a climax that left me momentarily stunned. It will stay with me for a long time. Thank you!

Dai Lowe 117 days ago

To be honest, I would probably have given this a miss, had I not known Elena from performing in the same venue as her last year. But I am so glad I didn't.
An excellent piece of theatre, a well-crafted two-hander with a much larger cast, all well delineated too. Jessica handles the challenges of parallel lives (contrasting the privileged but frustrated and the desperate) and verse drama (which skilfully distinguishes the narrative sections from the dialogues) (almost) flawlessly. The whole piece was excellently acted and had me alternately elated and fearful, and definitely struggling to hold back the tears at the end.
One of the high spots of this year's Fringe for me and I look forward to watching their future efforts (assuming our stupid government keeps letting them work here).
Moving and thought-provoking

Ana Pousa 118 days ago

Amazing show and absolutely pertinent in this day and age. It's both terrifying and heartbreaking, definitely hitting close to home. A must see.

Gwyneth Harrison-Shermoen 118 days ago

This show weaves together two women's tales seamlessly and with beautiful emotion. It's a serious topic, but the stories are told with humour, as well! A must-see.

Keeley Craw 121 days ago

Go and see this show! Its pertinant to our times without trotting out the same 'migration' issues rhetoric. It shows the intimate side of migration policy, how it effects two women in different but similar circumstances on a daily basis. Its a narrative poem exquistely composed with the two performers taking on at least 20 roles effortlessly. This show had me gripped and the hour flew by. I was rooting for both of the characters. Its well written, well performed and well worth the ticket price.

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

The Feminist Fringe (3/5 stars) 115 days ago

There is a moment in the play where the white American woman is giving English lessons to a group of Latin American yard workers and realizes that her students are all missing friends and family from another country “just like me.” This embodied the false equivalency that I felt running throughout the show. An impassioned poetic rant towards the end of the hour named characters from multiple nationalities in the waiting room of an immigration office, reminding me how much more I wanted space given to their compelling and often untold stories on a modern play about immigration.

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 126 days ago

Part play, part poem, Illegal sees writer and performer Jessica Phillippi reflect on her struggle to secure visas as an American wanting to live in the UK and the parallel struggles faced by those wanting to enter the US. As Trump trumpets about his wall and Brexit looms this side of the...

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 128 days ago

What risks are you prepared to run to live in another country? ...

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The List (3/5 stars) 130 days ago

Political two-hander about migrants in the age of Brexit and Trump...

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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.